I could hear her saying softly to the little black boy on her lap, "I bet he's jus for' months now. He be a little bitty 'un."
I looked over to see an elderly woman holding a curly-haired boy on her lap, both intently staring at
"Eleven months," I responded, ready for the confusion that appears on her face.
"Oh my! He be a real little one. He walkin'?" she questioned.
"No," I hesitated (never sure when to say something or what to say), "he's a special needs baby." I took a seat kitty-corner from her.
After a bit of a pause she said, "Whas wrong wid him?" She asked it in such a way that compelled me to meet her eyes. I found only compassion and concern in eyes set in a wrinkled face framed with gray and black hair whisping all over.
"He has a muscle disorder." I didn't feel like saying brain damage, it felt too harsh. Instead I just gave a piece of the picture.
"Does he have *unpronouncable disorder*?" We're interuppted by another voice. It belonged to a girl two rows over. She looked tired, young, disheveled, perhaps a bit "down and out". She opened up and told me about her 17-year-old sister with a rare muscle disorder and how it's affected their family. She ended by encouraging me, "You just never know. They told us my sister would never do anything. You just gotta keep hoping." Messages of hope sometimes come from the least expected places and persons.
By now the whole waiting room had their eyes on
The grandmother paused on her way out, standing right next to me. She looked down with her wide eyes at