Life is all about good company.
Ever since she was born she was surrounded with company.Her baby sitter used to stroll her down in her stroller to the park amongst giggles and screams of joy. She was welcomed by her tiny tot friends. They played till their mothers pulled them away to go back home. She loved going to 'play school' and grew out of her Kindergarden stage within no time it seems. Getting ready and going to school was fun for her, not, coming back home. Because at home she felt alone and lonely. Her toys were lifeless. At best she enjoyed watching video's or listening to songs. Her biggest question everyday used to be '' With whom should I play ?''
As years rolled by she surrounded herself with friends. She is at her best when she is with friends. I would watch her from my balcony in Cupertino playing with kids from different cultures, background and ages. Children would walk in and walk out of the lawns on a Summer, Spring or Winter afternoon, but she would be the last one to drag her feet back home unwillingly. Age,size,gender,nothing mattered to her. I knew she was fond of friends. But there was something I didn't know.
Lisa asked me if she could baby sit her son, Mary asked me if she could teach her 5 yr old, Jyoti loved her playing with her daughter, Lucy wanted her to dog sit her dog. All of them had one thing to say ''she is so good with kids and pets.'' Well she wanted to do all these but as luck would have it, she got a chance to volunteer at a playground playing soccer with school kids. Every Sunday she used to be super excited about going there. I knew why!
One day out of curiosity I decided to go there to pick her up and see for myself. I saw a large field where people were divided in groups and playing. I sifted through the kids, looking for her. The place was full of cheers, yells, screams, applauds and noises.The greatest cheering came from far away. I was not sure whether I should go and check that or look for her around. The noises were so big that my steps automatically moved in that direction. I realized all the school kids were differently abled. Some were holding crutches, others were limping or they were having one or the other challenge. Now it became clear to me why parents were cheering up their kids so frantically with whom volunteers were playing soccer.
I heard a kid laughing out loud, real loud, and this laughter was followed by a louder laughter of the crowd assembled. I saw her standing at the other end,holding a soccer ball which looked funny, ready to strike, calling out ''Michel, are U ready''. And he yelled with all his power ''Yes I am''. Even before she kicked or threw the ball in his direction, the crowd started clapping and cheering Michel.Michel.Michel……..She rolled the ball in his direction, and yes he hit it back hard, real hard….and away rolled the ball.
Happy Tears were flowing down my eyes. My daughter was playing soccer with a funny ball which beeped. Michel was kicking the ball despite being blind from his birth!