April 28, 2014

Storybook Love

"Come my love I'll tell you a tale
Of a boy and girl and their love story

And how he loved her oh so much

And all the charms she did possess
Now this did happen once upon a time

When things were not so complex

How he worshipped the ground she walked

And when he looked in her eyes he became obsessed."
(Storybook Love vs. 1, by Mark Knopfler)

I love the movie the Princess Bride and I love the lyrics to its theme song.  It describes a love story that is happening right before me in the most tender and pure form.  Our story has truly begun with, "Once Upon a Time. . . "

Let me introduce you to our own, real life Princess Buttercup.

She has crystal blue eyes, dimples that melt your socks off, an incredible fashion sense with a strong preference towards adorable dresses and a heart that makes me cry.
We call her Ms. T, or, as Bridger will call her, "Tay-weh" (Taylor).  She is Bridger's classmate in his first experience in an inclusive classroom in Kindergarten and her charms have captured his heart.  She drew this adorable picture of she and her new friend on wheels earlier in the year. [insert that wheelchair stick drawings melt my heart! I collect them ALL.]

This Special journey has taught me about a different kind of heart.  Many of us have trained and taught our hearts in the various elements of learning and refinement that we need to acquire in this journey of life.  But sometimes you come across hearts that don't need any teaching at all - they are already perfect just the way they are.  What those hearts need are more students that can watch and observe and teach you what pure love looks like, even if that teaching heart comes in the unexpected form of a 6 year old girl.

Ms. T has been by Bridger's side every day in Kindergarten.  She has helped him with his coloring, his cutting, his snack and every elementary task in between. Instead of giving the report of her own day to her mother, she gives the report of Bridger's day. She bakes his favorite treat of homemade pumpkin bread and delivers it to him. She brags to her sisters about her Prince. She hugs him freely and those hugs fill him with so much joy on the inside that you can't help but see it on the outside.  
table for two
Bridger was the single requested guest to celebrate her birthday with her.  She sleeps with a framed picture of him next to her bed.  She doesn't care if he can't walk, or talk, or color, or participate in circle time.  She has loved him from day one for who he is and that natural, free-flowing, pure and tender love has made all the difference for Bridger.

"He said, "Don't you know I love you oh so much
And lay my heart at the foot of your dress?"
She said, "Don't you know that storybook loves

Always have a happy ending?"

Then he swooped her up just like in the books

And on his stallion they rode away"
  (Storybook Love vs. 3, by Mark Knopfler)

Or in this case, they rode away in his special needs jogging stroller. . .