Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sun and games

This summer has been crazy with the chopping and changing in the weather.
We finally made it to to beach for the first time on Monday and we only stayed for an hour, but of course I got burnt.  It's a few days later, but I've got a lovely pinkish tan to show for myself. 

The next day we got to have a visit from my brother, sister-in-law, and niece before they headed off home to Qld.  It was very warm weather still so we thought a trip to Yoghurtland was in order. There is a Timezone right near Yoghurtland and it was calling to our children so in we went.  

Whilst in Timezone, there was a father with his daughter who were walking hand in hand.  The girl looked about 10 to 12 years old, and I thought it was really sweet to see them holding hands.  When the turned around, I saw the father was blind, as he was holding a cane and was sticking very close to his daughter as she led him through the maze of games.  He mustn't have had any sight at all as he bumped into a few of the machines. 

Right in front of where I was sitting was an air hockey table.  The daughter asked her dad if they could play and then situated him in front of one of the goals and placed the plastic handle you hit the puck with in one if his hands. 

I was so amazed with this father who was managing so well out and about despite the challenge of not being able to see, and even more impressed that he wasn't just there as a responsible parent, he was there to join in and play with his daughter.  Despite this though, I couldn't help but think that playing air hockey may not have been the best choice of game with an opponent who couldn't see - one player was clearly disadvantaged. 

I watched on as the daughter scored a few goals and her father used his hands to feel where his goal was to try and defend but wasn't having much luck.  It was even harder for him to know when to try and hit the puck as there was no way of knowing when or in which direction it was coming.

The daughter was laughing and cheering and it made me smile to see how much fun she was having.  But then she did something that made me realise what a lovely girl she must be.

Her father managed to hit the puck in her direction and she grabbed it and quickly pushed it into her goal. She happily shouted;

"Dad you did it! You got it in - well done!"

He beamed and laughed. They continued to play and whilst she continued to try and score goals, she also 'helped' her dad by leaving her goal unguarded or trying to push the puck in here and there.  

The game ended with her winning by several goals.  I think if she didn't win her father would clearly have known she was letting him win, but it was important to this young girl that her father got to score a goal or two.

I used to do that with our children, sometimes I still do. We play a game and I don't always try my best, I 'let' them score a few extra points because being so much older is clearly an advantage.
I want them to feel some of the joy that comes with competing and not being thrashed.  Parents often put their children's interest ahead of their own, but it was so beautiful to watch this young girl doing the same with her father.

No one wishes for challenges and trials, but this father was making the best of his situation, and it was also helping his daughter to grow into a kind, compassionate human being.  Sometimes the best examples can be the little people in our lives. 

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