People who interact with Lucy in her life run through a whole spectrum of quality, caring, closeness, and understanding. There are people who treat her like a baby, or like she doesn't understand them, even if I have told them she does. Some people treat her just like any other five year old. Many, many people love and admire her. She is lucky to have many cousins close by, ranging in age from younger than her to much older than her, who love her and include her as much as they can when they are together. And, she has some actual, good friends that we see when everyone's schedules permit for it.
One such group of friends I have mentioned before in my blog, the Weber brothers, Miles, Chase, and Isaac, have become a very important part of Lucy's life over the few short years they have known each other. Back in early the spring we went on a little outing with them, and I wrote about it here:"Quality".
A few Saturday's ago we went out with them again to lunch at Eat N Park, and then to the Arboretum at Penn State and it was a truly wonderful time.
At lunch, Miles, the oldest, asked Lu what her favorite color is. I helped her navigate to the colors page and then let her take her time to choose. Several minutes passed and we kept on with other conversations as we waited for Lu to choose. I looked over at Miles who would glance at Lu, and then back to everyone else, and I said she just needs to take her time sometimes, but she'll answer him when she's ready/able. He just nodded his head patiently and was simply more calm, and more accepting of these anomalies in communicating with Lu than even most adults ever are. I have noticed that the majority of people feel the need to fill the silence that comes from waiting for her with chatter that often is more distracting and makes her feel more pressure than just waiting patiently. The frequent refrain is, "What are you going to say Lucy? Tell us something!" This drives me crazy mainly because this is not how you would interact with a person who can speak with their mouth, so it's not appropriate for talking to Lucy either. Miles seems to understand this, even though he is only 8, and never talks to Lucy like this. While waiting, Chad suggested that Miles tell Lucy his favorite color and he said purple. Lucy eventually said her favorite color is also purple!
We then went to the Arboretum which also has a nice children's garden and the kids clearly enjoyed themselves. There were little huts to go in to:
A stream for wading that Lu and I, and the boys took full advantage of:
Some musical instruments:
A gigantic caterpillar:
And an amazing fountain at the end:
Unfortunately, between the caterpillar and the fountain Lu had a pretty big seizure and was half asleep for the rest of the time. The two younger boys, being younger, ran around having a blast most of the time. Miles (with the brown hair) would join them for awhile, and then come back to spend time with Lucy. The other boys love her too, but I can see clearly that Miles has a very special spot in his heart for Lucy. It seems to just be in his nature to slow down and try to understand what it means to really be her friend. For this I am so very grateful. I have known Erin, the boys' mom, since we were little. We have been friends for a very long time, and it really is not surprising that she and her husband have created such caring and tender children. Erin is kind, thoughtful, and loving, just like her boys. Chad, Lu, and I are looking forward to many more lovely days spent together.
From the fountain to the car, which was quite a distance, this is what melted my heart with every step: