When we put Gracie in day care 2-3 days a week last year she knew none of the kids there. She was thrown into the mix with a dozen other 3 yr olds. It was your typical day care I suppose. Kids from all walks of life, colors, backgrounds, incomes etc. A real melting pot. After several months one of the kids stood out from the others. Angel.
Angel was a special child. She couldn't speak. She could only make grunting sounds. She was perfectly normal in every other way except her ability to vocalize sounds.
It didn't matter though cause Gracie and Angel hit it off from the start. Playing, fighting, arguing, stealing toys from each other, getting mad at each other then hugging and being best friends again. Two peas in a pod.
Angels Mother and Father both worked, one day shift and one night shift. As a result they had to drop her off VERY early at day care. On many mornings we'd drop Gracie off and Angel would be asleep in the corner. I always felt so sorry for her on those mornings. But if she wasn't asleep as soon as she'd see Gracie she'd make a loud sound and run across the room to hug Gracie. They'd hug and Gracie would start bossing her around and off they'd go. Angel was Gracie's very first friend. She talked about her all the time.
The school had been working with Angel and sending her to a special needs school in our county to help with her problem. They worked with her for months and finally had success. The very first words we ever heard the child say was Grace. The teachers at the school told us that was all Angel could say. It was so very special. We were so very proud of Angel, and proud of Gracie for being her friend.
Sadly, at the end of the last school year Angel's parents put her in a special program full time. So when Gracie started Pre-K this year Angel wasn't there. It was obviously the best thing for Angel, but Gracie was very, very sad. She would talk about Angel all the time. When driving her to school she'd say things like: "I wonder if Angel will be there to play with me today?" or "I wonder if Angel is talking yet?" or "I miss Angel." Even after months, she continued to talk about her Angel.
Well Tuesday of this week was Alyssa's 6th Birthday. ( I know I haven't posted about it yet. Let me get the pictures downloaded and I will. ) Anyway, on Wednesday they had a special little party for Alyssa at her school. Vic took in cupcakes and treats and also took in Gracie so she could enjoy too. I was at the office and couldn't attend, but I did get this email from Vic after she got home from the party:
----- Original Message -----
To: Joe at Work
Sent: Wed Nov 12 13:11:25 2008
Subject: Gracie meets an old friend
Let me tell you what happened at Alyssa B-day party at school today. Gracie and I arrive and we set up the party. The kids all get back from specials and Gracie for once in her life was being very good. She was cracking all the kids up at Alyssa's table with knock knock jokes.
The party is winding down (only lasted 15 - 20 minutes) and Grace has to go potty. So I take her and we start out the door looking for the restroom. All of a sudden Gracie yells, "Angel!!", and sure enough, guess who was walking down the hall....Miss Angel herself from day care.
Gracie runs up to her and they hug, then Gracie looks at her and says, "Angel can you talk now?" and Angel says, "Yes!" Gracie starts jumping up and down screaming, "Angel, you can talk, you can talk!" There was a teacher escorting Angel and she told Gracie, "Yes, Angel can talk now. So I explained to the teacher how they knew each other from day care and how the only word Angel could say while she was there was Gracie's name and how they loved each other.
Angel then took Gracie by the hand and started pulling her down the hall. She told Gracie, "You Come." So we walked as far as the restroom with her and said our goodbyes. Angel was beaming and Gracie was beside herself. It was so touching and sweet to see these 2 little girls embrace each other and then Grace be so happy that Angel was overcoming her inability to speak. I saw something in Gracie that I've never seen before and that was pride in someone else's accomplishments, and this was something she felt with every fiber in her soul.
Sitting there at the office I teared up. My little Gracie. The one I say is going to be a hit man for the mob, the one who beats up her older sisters, the one who's afraid of nothing and no one showed us all a whole different side to her.
I can tell you as I right this, I am prouder of Gracie at this moment than ever before. And I'm so happy for little Angel. She's a sweetheart and my little girls best friend.
Farewell My Good Friend - September 17, 2009
8 years ago