How’d They Get So Smart?

For about a month Alex has been talking about a little girl – I’ll call her Sidney – at his Mother’s Day Out.

Just about every single time that I pick him up, he tells me all about Sidney…that she’s not as old as he is, that she’s his friend, that he plays with her. I couldn’t figure out why a younger child would be in his three year old class, so I figured that Sidney must be on the playground at the same time, or maybe he saw her in chapel, or maybe they had music together. Regardless of how they met, it’s been pretty clear that Alex adores her.

Yesterday Alex stayed an hour longer than normal at MDO so that I could get my hair cut, and when I walked in the extended care room, he was sitting at a table with three or four other kids having a snack. As soon as he saw me he hopped out of his seat, ran toward the door, and said, “Mama! I’m having a snack with Sidney! It’s Sidney, Mama!”

And when I looked at the little girl who was sitting to the left of where Alex had been, I saw his precious blonde-haired friend named Sidney. What I didn’t expect – because Alex hadn’t told me – is that she has Down Syndrome. He hadn’t told me, of course, because he never noticed. Why would he?

As Sidney watched Alex running toward me yesterday afternoon, the joy in her eyes took my breath away. I was blinking away tears before I ever knew what hit me.

While Alex and I gathered up his things and started walking toward the car, I asked him if he and Sidney had fun playing. He said, “Oh, yes ma’am, Mama! Sidney wanted to read Blue’s Clues, and we watched a movie, and we had a good time, Mama!”

And as I buckled the little man in his seat, all I could think about was how grateful I am for Sidney. I’m so thankful that she’s Alex’s friend.

They’re buddies. Plain and simple.

There are many things I love about children, but the tenderness of their little hearts – the way they look at people and at the world without judgment, without prejudice, without bias – it just blows me away.

Alex and Sidney, for me, are a reminder of what real friendship looks like.

And I thank them for the lesson.

This post was published originally on November 9, 2006.

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  1. Precious. There are a lot of things my kids do better than I do; showing pure love is one of them:)

  2. That may be one of your sweetest posts ever. :)

  3. Absolutely precious. We could so learn from them!

  4. That is one of the sweetest things I have ever read. Just precious.

  5. If only we could keep this attitude/view of others as we grow up… what a wonderful world this could be.

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful, real-life story with us.

  6. If only that would stick in our hearts through adulthood. That’s what it’s all about–love. I blinked back tears too. :)

  7. Children really are a gift from the Lord in more ways than one. We learn to see things through their eyes, as you’ve so eloquantly stated here. We learn to live and love freely.

    What a tender post.

  8. What a wonderful reminder that agape love is in many ways child-like. Alex didn’t see the “flaws”, and we shouldn’t either.

  9. ” Oh yes ma’am mama” reminds me of Opey on Andy Griffith lol He was such a polite little boy, he would always say “Oh yes sir Pa” I love childrens innocense.

  10. that was beautiful! I have a special needs daughter and when children love and accept her, it means the world to me. What a precious glimpse of our Father!

  11. Thank Alex for my lesson, too. And, thank you for raising a little boy to see people for who they are-not what they look like. :>)

  12. That’s beautiful, BooMama. Thank you for sharing.
    Madeline and I were in a store once where we crossed paths with a person who bore scars from what must have been third-degree burns over their entire face. Out of earshot, I quietly explained what caused the scars, because I knew she’d ask. She immediately started to cry and asked, “Do they still hurt?” I want that kind of heart.

  13. Hey Boomama! I’m delurking to tell you what a sweet story this was. I have a nephew with down syndrome and he constantly reminds me what is really important. In this world where outward looks and achievement is considered success, your little Alex reminds us to look at the heart. Christ cares about the heart. Thanks!

  14. That is a wonderful story and a great reminder for all of us, isn’t it?! Keep doing a great job with him!!

  15. “he never noticed. Why would he?”

    Oh . . .my. :*)

  16. That is so sweet. It brought tears to my eyes.

  17. What a wonderful gift. He is just precious.

  18. Oh that we might all be so child-like again what a better world it would be.

  19. Speaking as a mom with a child with Down syndrome, I love the friends who are just “buddies,” plain and simple…the ones who see my son for the gift that he is, looking past that little extra chromosome and seeing what blessings he can bring into their lives.

    Yeah, Alex :).


  20. Just makes me want to give my kids a big squeeze.

  21. I love reading wonderful stories like this one. Children are so refreshing!

  22. You have a special little boy!
    “…He didn’t even notice. Why would he?” I love that. He’s precious.

  23. Oh man, the tenderness in that post made me cry, too. What a special story; thanks for sharing. You are so right……and a lesson we all need to hear. We NEVER know what others may have dealt with, gone thru or what burdens they may carry. They don’t always SHOW. We really do ALL need to be that tender with one another. Thanks for the reminder!

  24. So sweet! Thanks for sharing!

  25. I love this. If we could only remain as little children.

    Concerning your previous question about global ministry, I believe if you are open to God’s leading, He’ll let you know when and if and how you need to go and WHERE.

  26. Bless them

  27. Oh my goodness!!!! That is the sweetest story I’ve ever read. I just wish Alex was right here so I could just eat him up with sugar!!

  28. YOu just need to find that little girl’s mama and make a playdate! It will make EVEYONE’S day.

  29. Sweet Alex!
    Great story. I learn so much from my children! I love Heather’s idea about the playdate.

  30. Love it, love it, love it… There is an older song by Watermark about that… They wrote it about their son, but I can’t think of the name (pregnant brain – forgive me!!). Anyhoo, very sweet story! If only we could see the world as our children do…

  31. Thank you for that story; what a sweet friendship.

  32. Oh you made me cry. What an awesome post. Thank you.

  33. Priceless. Precious. Hug him tight for me.

  34. That should be one of your proudest moments as Boomama! I’m just so happy to be Boo-E :)

  35. Thank you for posting this. xoxoxo

  36. That was so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Wouln’t it be nice if that lack of judging stayed with us through our lives.


  38. I had a downs child in my Kindergarten class some years back and I have to tell you that your son is a very special child and that You have really done a beautiful thing in raising him to really see people for who they are. You are doing many things right. Kids are not always so loving! What a blessing for your son. What a blessing for Sidney. What a blessing for our world.
    Thanks for sharing! This one made my day!


  39. Thank you so much for sharing that story, it was absolutely beautiful.

  40. I love this story. Kids just have such a wonderful way of accepting everyone without question. God bless you for sharing this with us.

  41. what a sweet heart he has. probably inherited :)

  42. That is so sweet. It really shows how well his parents are doing teaching him too!

  43. “…the way they look at people and at the world without judgment, without prejudice, without bias…”

    I pray for Jack (who has Down Syndrome) to have friends that just see Jack…and not a disability. I pray that Jack has an Alex in his future.

    Here’s a big ol’ hug for Alex all the way from Arkansas!


  44. awwww! That is so sweet! It must mean your a good mother!

  45. A beautiful post. Everyone has already said so, but I can’t resist. It’s nice to remember how judgemental children can be when I spend my days surrounded by teenagers. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  46. Phyllis R. says:

    This post touched me to the core. Thank you, BooMama. You and your husband are blessed with a precious little boy! (And he must have precious parents, as well.)

  47. What a precious son you have! Growing up, many judged me for my disability. As a teenager, I fell in love with a guy who is now my husband because he was one of the few I met who truly thought nothing of it.

  48. Childlike innocence provides such a refreshing perspective. They don’t pursue a relationship to “milk” something out of it for themselves.
    Jesus wants us to become like little children. We need not wonder why , do we ?
    Blessings to you and your family.
    I needed a reminder of how to become more like Jesus in real life.

  49. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it. I wish we all could see things the way kids see them.

    My mom always said to trust the instincts of kids. She took this to heart whenever she met someone and kids immediately didn’t like that person.

  50. As two of my four children have disabilities, I am grateful for little men like Alex being raised by mamas like Boo. Gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

  51. That is awesome! I love the way kids look at each other without seeing color, gender, physical or mental disabilities! That is truly what God wants from each of us!!

  52. This one has to be on my list of “top Ten blogs ever read!”

    I think I may cry!

  53. I’m crying. Thanks for linking that one.

  54. Wonderful!

  55. Fabulous, touching, so sweet!

  56. That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read! My best friend’s little girl has Downs (3 wks younger than my oldest) and I just pray that my little Madison will love her for the sweetheart that I am sure she’ll be. Thanks for posting this!

  57. That is soooo sweet! What a doll your son is!

  58. Oh, what a neat post! I’m glad I read this at home, because I’m sitting here crying! :) What a great lesson for all of us! :)

  59. Awww. That is just soooo sweet.

  60. T.E.A.R.S …..Let us love like Alex, Lord. Let us see the beauty in every Sidney and love them like THAT! Amen.

  61. I love this.

  62. Boomama~

    I didn’t read this when it was first posted. I’m so glad that I was able to today.

    While you are grateful for Sidney may I tell you that I am grateful for you and your heart not only for posting this, but for the way your heart and your son’s heart welcomed Sidney with such joy and appreciation..

    Parker has Down syndrome. Well, he has that plus a lot of medical issues. The medical issues have caused us a lot of tears.

    The Ds on the other hand has brought us nothing but joy. We consider that extra chromosome to be nothing less than a blessing. I pray that Parker is one day able to find the kind of friend that Sidney has found in your little guy.

  63. Similarly, there is much we can learn from Downs kids and adults. When I was in college I worked at a summer camp with some Downs folk…I so admired the love and care they showed for each other and the camp staff!

  64. That is so touching. It brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart.

  65. Sweet story!

    You just made my friend Kelly, who reads your blog but doesn’t comment, cry. She has a daughter with DS who is very, very sweet.

  66. Aaaaaw. I got misty!

  67. Alex is the kind of boy every mother wants her child to be. Reading the previous post tells me this gift of compassion was not taught, it was caught.
    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  68. My daughter does not have down syndrome, but she is a special needs child. Most children do not want to play with her because she is not “normal”. I pray that as she begins school in August that she will find a friend like Alex.

    Thank you for sharing this again.

  69. Rocks in my Dryer says:

    Wow, comment #70! I’m so glad you re-posted this. Excellent work.

  70. My oldest son has Muscular Dystrophy and he’s almost always found some really good buddies who simply look past what his disability is and like him for him. I remember shortly after he was diagnosed, we told the people at the day care center he was in while my husband and I were at work that his muscles didn’t work as well as other people. And they, in turn, told the other children the same thing. What touched my heart was a story about how if he was doing gym time and he didn’t do something right the first time, the other kids would say, ‘oh his muscles didn’t work right that time, he gets to try again’. It’s amazing the ability of children to see past the facade into the true heart of a person. I’m so glad that you chose this post to recycle while you’re having some fun with your company BooMama. Ta for now dahling!

  71. Thanks for sharing. I am a cosmetologist and I have client that is a young man with down syndrome. I have been styling his hair for 10+ years now. He and I get along wonderfully. At first we did not, he did not like getting his hair cut. It was very difficult to deal with him, but I was very patient and now he sits very calmly and I get a hug before he leaves. His Mother has always told me how grateful she is that I took time with him, others around town would not. Patience is a virtue. I just adore my friend, Chris!

  72. Amanda says:

    I thank them too. That is awesome, a friendship, pure and simple.

  73. Speechless. Bless his sweet, precious little heart.

  74. i love it!! it reminds me of when i ask my kid’s about a certain class mate by describing the skin or hair color and they seriously don’t know what i’m talking about because they, too, don’t see color. they see a person. indeed, bless thier hearts!!!

  75. Ohiomom9977 says:

    That was really beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  76. I have just discovered your site via bloogers choice awards. I have been reading for a few weeks and checking on Heather. This story prompts me to comment rather than ‘lurk.’ Our children do amaze us don’t they. My 6th grade daughter’s PE class had a unit in dance. 6th graders being who they are, are a little freaked out about dancing with members of the opposite sex. After school there would be much discussion among my daughter and her friends about if they had to dance with a boy they were going to try to pick the boy – the popular ones were first choice. My daughter is tall, slim and elegant even at 12 and has had a few admirers already. She was mostly quiet on the subject. The day came and the dancing started. She told us often about her partner, Mike, and the funny things he would do. Gym classes were made up of blended 6th grade classes and she had not talked about Mike L. before. She was enjoying the dancing – many kids were not. I really did not think about it to much. After the unit her PE teacher told us that Julia had asked to dance with one of the special needs children in her grade. I just about cried. Mike has down syndrome. Here I thought she would manouevre her self into being paired with one of the ‘cute’ boys. She made me proud and just a bit ashamed of myself.
    I had so underestimated my daughter.

  77. Kids can certainly teach us a lot, can’t they? That is truly beautiful!

  78. Boomama…I don’t usually reply here because, goodness, I feel like there is no way you could read all of your replies some days anyway…but because I posted on this very same thing yesterday, my mouth dropped open. (And I promise I didn’t copy you!)
    If you can, come take a peek…

  79. Wow, what a lesson for us all. You know what this means, don’t you? It means you have been a wonderful EXAMPLE of not judging someone at first glance. They learn all this from Mama’s and Daddy’s you know. Great job, Boo.

  80. How wonderful! What a wonderful freindship. I love this about Little Princess too.

  81. I hate to tell you something you already know, but you have a very special young man there, not just with Sidney, but in his behavior in the Dr.s office.

    Not all children are like that, tho many are. There is a very old song about prejudice that has a line “You have to be carefully taught.”

    Look in Alex eyes to see a reflection of you.

  82. i am very glad you reposted this. I hope all is going well. I have noticed this recently with my own kids. They can just go about it without noticing the negative things. It is great!!!


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