My injury occurred in late August and that following summer I learned how valuable the input and innocence of children could be that just stops you dead in your tracks.
The girl I had been seeing since long before my accident and I decided to take a trip to Sea World in Ohio. It was a damn hot day and after only a couple of hours I started getting way too hot and couldn’t cool down. I spent most of the afternoon in the penguin display just to chill out. My body hadn’t adjusted to the temperature changes and I didn’t know to prepare for the heat so it was an exhausting day. To avoid spending much time in the sun, we headed for another in-door exhibit. While waiting in line to get in, a little boy about 3 or 4 years old began to take notice of the chair and me. It was a great exchange. He would twirl in and out of his father’s legs and play the “I’m invisible game.” He would walk around me and quickly duck back in between his dad’s legs and peak out from side to side.
At one point, he took a real interest in the chair and studied the spokes, the frame and you could just see him thinking about how he would ride if he were in one. It made the time fly and before long the line had started to move. His father smiled and moved forward with the crowd not saying a word but the boy lingered. He changed his expression from a playful little smile to a very serious concerned stare. He reached out his hand and touched my knee saying anything for the first time. “I hope your legs get better,” he said and walked on with his father.
Thank you to all of the parents who let their children explore, ask questions and show just how innocence can really touch the heart.