Last evening Kate and little Jane were at my place. Jane needed some help from Aaliyah with her project. As Aaliyah and Jane sat with the project, Kate and I made some evening munchies and coffee. Kate took an extra effort to decorate our plates with sauce and mayonnaise. “Art you see?” She said and winked as I laughed.
“Here you go! Time to take a break and eat!” I said as Kate served the sliders and coffee.
“Mmmmm….it’s yum!” Expressed Aaliyah. As we were all eating and talking about our plans for Cinco de Mayo, I noticed that Jane was a bit quiet. She wasn’t her usual self. She went to the balcony with her coffee mug and stood alone.
Both Aaliyah and Kate looked at me with confused expressions.
“Are things okay with her project?” Asked Kate.
“Yes absolutely! I don’t know what’s wrong!” Answered Aaliyah.
I went to the balcony and stood beside Jane. “What’s the matter, Jane? What is upsetting you?” I asked. She looked at me and then kept looking outside. Finally, she opened up.
“My classmates tell me that I’m slow. I take time to understand. The things they do in minutes, I complete than in an hour. I am slow, is that okay?” She asked. There was so much innocence in the question that it touched my heart. I knelt.
“Yes, that’s okay! It’s completely fine. We are all made differently by that almighty whom we pray to every day. As you will grow up you will realize that you have strengths in so many other areas where your other classmates don’t! For now, you can only practice and get better at things where you lag,” I replied.
“But, what do I tell these classmates when they make fun of me at times?” She asked.
I thought for a while and then said, “Well, tell them that you are in no hurry and enjoying the process of learning at your own pace!”
She smiled. “That’s nice. I should try saying that!” She smiled.
“Yes, do that! And remember, never let anyone make you feel bad for who you are. Slow or fast, as long as you are learning you should not feel disappointed!” I said.
She smiled once again and then hugged me. A tight hug relieved me as I knew she was feeling much better.
“Thank you so much, Uncle Bob! You are my favorite!” She expressed and then we went in and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
Not just Jane, but many of us feel bad when we are pointed out as someone who doesn’t fit in. In times like that, we start questioning ourselves and feel something is perhaps wrong with us! Young or old, we should never allow self-doubting thoughts to tread in our minds if someone else said so! We all are different. And, that’s the uniqueness. It’s okay to be you!