Chase and the Stranger
It was April, 2009, our family was checking in at the airport for the flight to our spring break destination, when Chase went missing—not an uncommon occurrence! As my eyes scanned the area, I noticed him a ways off, sitting and chatting with a complete stranger. Any anger that was mounting, melted away as I walked closer. I could see that Chase was fully engaged in conversation with an elderly gentleman and that he was intently listening. I paused for a moment before snapping this photo and was reminded that some people come to earth with amazing gifts of humanity that the rest of us struggle to recognize or ever develop. Six months after taking this picture, I prayed to know how best to introduce my son to high school and to a group of eight educators, administrators and counselors, I was prompted to bring this photo and say, this is Chase …
He easily engages in conversation with strangers—especially the very young and the very experienced.
He will remember your pet’s name and the details you tell him about your vacation—in five years!
He will observe other students in your class, sense their needs and emotions and risk getting into trouble to help them.
He wants nothing more than to be recognized for the good and right things he does.
He is starting his 10th year of school, where in spite of his best effort, he is consistently sent the message that he isn’t enough.
I LOVE this photo because it helped me communicate heart to heart, the amazing opportunity it is to be Chase’s mother; to understand him, to shape and to influence him, and in so doing, to be changed forever.
In the 2nd grade, Chase was diagnosed with ADHD. Sometimes it is necessary to diagnose and label, in an effort to describe and explain limitations in each other as we make our way through life, but it is far more important to see into each others’ hearts and to appreciate the gifts and strengths we possess to connect with and improve our world. There is power and clarity in pictures, especially as you let them speak.
NOTE: This is a page in my Photos I Love album. I’ve undertaken a project—without a deadline—to publish the stories that are hidden away in my many scrapbooks. I am keen to get these stories online, so that A) they are archived and B) they are shareable.