Like I have said before, I try to take Kannon out and about as much as possible.
Not only does he need the sensory input of the sunshine, wind and everything that comes with beautiful California, but he needs to learn how to better navigate safely through his environment.
Kannon and I more than anything will go for a walk through our neighborhood that eventually leads to a huge park. It's about a 2 mile walk one way, and it is one of the safest routes I have found for him. We have such a nice time every time we go too....we hold hands, look at leaves, run through the trees and honestly it is one of my favorite things to do with Kannon.
He always looks so happy and peaceful on our journey to the park.
One day as we arrived at the park there was an unusual crowd of families there, probably having a birthday party or picnic. Kannon's eyes lit up as he saw the kids running around and screaming. He really loves other kids. He always smiles when he is around them...like they are light bulbs for his soul or something.
Kannon took immediately to a group of boys who were probably 2 years older than him. They were running around around playing chase and just being boys.
Kannon started running with them. At first behind the pack, and then after having so much fun running around he made his way to the middle of the running group.
At first, like always kids are fine with Kannon...it is only until they try to start talking with him and realize Kannon cannot talk very well and when he does talk it sounds like baby talk. This is when they either do one of two things.
1. They ask me why he can't talk and then seem interested for a few minutes as if Kannon was some sort of kid sized robot that they just want to watch. Then they are on their way leaving Kannon to his own business.
2. They make fun of him and call him names for a bit, then usually I will step in and remove him from the situation.
On this day, I noticed that right away these group of boys were not wanting Kannon to play with them since Kannon was different than them. They kept running, but this time away from Kannon trying to avoid him. I grabbed Kannon a few times to try to redirect him, but he really thought in his little soul that they were playing with him. Eventually he found a new activity and left the boys alone...but not for very long.
I was sitting on a rock watching kids zoom by, and knew Kannon was on the playground on the slides. Then I heard a cry come from him that I had never heard in all my life...I instantly knew something was wrong.
I jumped up and saw Kannon laying face up on his back at the bottom of a 10 foot drop where those group of boys were....they had pushed Kannon off the playground equipment.
They stood up there looking down at him laughing hysterically at his pain and still making fun of him because "he sounds like a retard"...
My heart broke because I knew Kannon was heartbroken.
He had tried to make friends, and they pushed him.
He didn't understand.
Thank god Kannon was fine, just startled and got the wind knocked out of him.
I rushed him home to make sure all was good.
The rest of that day Kannon was very quiet. Almost like he had known these boys for years and they hurt his feelings.
All he would say was "mommy ouch" "mean boys"...
I know kids can be mean.
I know everyone at some point or another in life learns these hard lessons of playground rules...
I just don't know how I can explain to Kannon why these kids are mean to him.
I will never tell him he shouldn't try to make friends, but I can't even tell him he will have a harder time than most kids.
Because he is different.
What I love about Kannon is that he doesn't act like he is different.
He treats everyone the same.
He never changes his personality for anyone. He is constant. I love that...
I've learned by watching him how to accept people at face value.
He gives everyone a chance until they give him a reason not to...and even then he still tries to be their friend.
He has a beautiful sense of ignorance to him when it comes to human interactions.
And if someone or something strikes Kannon as "different" he is more attracted to their energy.
He doesn't choose to be negative or run away.
He wants to explore the situation even more.
Who am I to tell this little man that he is different, as if that were a bad thing.
I just need to learn how to protect him without dampening his spirit.
This is something that may take a lifetime.
I just hope Kannon continues to choose happiness over anger.
Friendship over hate.
Acceptance over judgement.
Living over fear.
Love over insecurity...