Providing 90 Seconds of Joy

20130730-105124.jpgI was on the train this morning for my weekly trip up to Salt Lake, and I was using my laptop browse for news and other rather meaningless stuff. Out of the blue a boy about 10 comes and sits next to me and asks if I have any car racing games on my laptop because they are his favorite. It is immediately apparent that this boy suffers from diminished mental capacity. Right after the boy sits down his father follows apologizing for his son’s intrusion and trying to usher his son away from me. I could tell from the son’s body language that he was happy where he was and didn’t want to leave this cool laptop he’d found, and there was even a hint that a temper tantrum might have erupted if the dad insisted on him moving.

If this had happened during last week’s trip, I would have let the father take his son and been glad to be relieved of chatting with this boy, praying that he didn’t have the tantrum that he looked like he was about to have. But, I couldn’t allow myself to feel burdened over this interruption this week. During my own personal mourning over our collective loss of Kidd Kraddick this past weekend, I decided to watch a number of videos on his Kidd’s Kids channel. I was in awe at how simply and effortlessly he could extend love and compassion towards so many medically and mentally challenged children.

So this week, I instead assured this boy’s father that his son’s presence was no intrusion and was welcome. I asked the boy about his favorite racing games and why he liked them, and I confessed that I had no racing games on my computer. He then asked if I had the song “Witchdoctor,” and I thought that I did, but after looking through my iTunes I found I didn’t have that song. So, thanks to free public transit wifi, I played the 90 second preview through the iTunes store.

Those 90 seconds were HILARIOUS! This kid was practically doubled over in laughter at this silly song. Everyone within earshot started grinning from ear-to-ear. One of the other passengers said to the father, “you’ve gotta love that innocent laugh.” It was clearly a relief to this dad that not one person in the area was bothered by his son’s social faux pas.

When the song was finished the father again insisted to the son that he no longer bother me and that they had to go find their own seats. This time the son got up with no complaint and they moved up to the next train compartment.

English: Kidd Kraddick

English: Kidd Kraddick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was certainly a small thing, the whole time the kid sat next to me was less than 5 minutes, but without a doubt it meant something to this kid to find someone on the train who openly welcomed him. It also clearly meant something to the father to not see a bunch of strangers bothered by his son’s issues, but instead all be uplifted by his innocence.

I have to give credit where it is due. Thanks Kidd Kraddick for the example you set. You will be missed. And I’m especially grateful and feel blessed to be presented with an opportunity to “pay it forward” so quickly.