Friday, March 9, 2012

The sweetest thing

Yesterday, I was covering a presentation by a naturalist at a local library.

There, a group from a home for people with mental disabilities sat in chairs, excited to learn about bees from the naturalist.

An older man in the group, with clear hearing aids in both ears, looked like he cared a lot about the people around him. At one point, he waved one of the group leaders over because another man next to him fell asleep on the comfy couch during the presentation.

A younger man next to me had Down Syndrome, and I watched as he pulled one of his feet up to push on a tennis shoe that had fallen off his heel. A few minutes later, I looked over and saw the man with Down Syndrome had put his foot up on the lap of the man with the hearing aid.

The sweet older man was slowly tying the other man's shoe as they both listened quietly to the presentation. When the shoe was tied, the older man leaned over and patted the younger man on the shoulder.

It was so sweet and brought a smile to my face as I temporarily stopped listening to the presentation and soaked in the scene before me.

I have always had a soft spot for people with Down Syndrome, because my great uncle has the condition. Sometimes people with mental disabilities are looked down upon, but I think they often have a capability to love more than the rest of us, because their emotions are unimpeded.

This was just a sweet scene of unconditional care.

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