On a regular basis, I try to slow down and take a few moments each day to be thankful for something. Though it might be something big and significant, more often it's something smaller, maybe even ephemeral but worthy of note: the changing leaves on a tree, fresh cookies in my lunchbox, a favorite binder clip. Something that brings me a smile.
This past week, my daily note of grace has been somewhere in between the big and the small. Each morning on my regular drive to school, I've found myself briefly pausing behind a school bus stopped on a very busy road. It's the short bus. As all the traffic comes to halt, a developmentally disabled young man, a teenager from the looks of him, bounds down his driveway, happily waving good bye to his mama and calling hello to the bus driver, waving at all the cars that have stopped for him.
That all of the New Jersey drivers have stopped, by the way, is something of a minor miracle. But that's not the note of grace I have in mind.
The grace is in the young man's simple happiness to be going to school. I know that raising a developmentally disabled child is no easy task and I imagine that his mama, no matter how much she loves him, is glad that he has school for the day. There's grace in that. I imagine that the school provides him challenges and makes him feel valued and proud of himself. More grace. And the way that he waves to the stopped cars, that might very well be the biggest grace of all. He's happy to be alive, to say hello, to head off to school.
It always brings a smile to my face. And that's happy.