I enjoyed a social engagement this week with an extraordinary little girl I call Sweetie Pie. We shared a tea party with yellow bananas and green peppers on pink checkered plates. Then we read colorful books and sang silly songs. But the genteel mood disappeared when our movie brought a significant amount of concern and worry. Crazy bees were chasing Winnie-the-Pooh in the hundred acre wood!
To prepare for the movie, Sweetie Pie selected a cozy fleece blanket, a cuddly bear, and a beautiful doll. We settled in to watch Winnie-the-Pooh, based upon the 1926 book by A.A. Milne. Thousands of children’s books have been written since then, but the gentle, steadfast, loveable bear still warms the hearts of little girls and boys everywhere.
The scenes were from the original book and the accompanying music was sweet. But the bear continued to get into trouble. He got stuck in Rabbit’s front door because he ate too much honey. Then got trapped in Owl’s house during a wind storm. But the scary part came when the bees were chasing him through the forest and he was under pressure to escape. Sweetie Pie was anxious until he was safe.
I feel the same way about her. She is so tender, vulnerable, and precious. Sometimes she stares at me with the gaze of an old soul, and I wonder what she knows. She is my granddaughter and our heritage is strong, forged from pioneers and farmers who were good and worthy. In her face, I see the past and the future, and all I want is for her to be protected from any harm.
Sweetie Pie was born four years ago with ten fingers, ten toes, and one extra chromosome. She has Down syndrome. She has brought joy and unconditional love to our family, and she receives it in return. After our play date she gave me a big hug and toddled to the car with her parents. For now, she is safe. And the world is a better place.