This little boy gave me such joy today.
I have spent some time with him in the past when I've served at the orphanage that he lives at. But each time I did, I noticed that he seemed to be in his own world. Not interacting with anyone. I would often see him alone pounding out rhythms on an overturned laundry bucket or repeating random phrases from songs he's heard or conversations spoken around him.
I would look at him with a sense of compassion.
Mixed with intimidation.
How does one engage with a child like that? How can little ol' me reach into the life of a kid that seems to be a prisoner of his own brain? But today I decided to see if I could join him in his world.
He was pounding out a rhythm on a ball, and I decided to sit next to him and repeat the rhythm with my hands and with my voice.
He caught on and started mimicking me back. Pretty soon, I quietly scooched over to him and gently started to do the rhythm on his back.
WOW did this get a smile!
He crawled right into my lap and snuggled up to me and requested more by taking my hands and placing them on his back. Progressively I started to request more interaction. Pretty soon I was bouncing him around and soliciting giggles in every gloriously raucous way possible. He laughed and laughed! Every time I would swing him or bounce him I would say "READY???" and he would giggle in anticipation. Pretty soon he was asking for more by telling me..."Ready????"
He thanked me for reaching into his world in so many ways today. Not the least of which was at the end when he snuggled up into my arms and rested his little cheek on my neck. It was blissful. It was a blessing.