Wednesday, January 4, 2012


One of our favorite places to go for a quick family getaway is Amish Country.  Not exactly a hub of excitement, but perfect for our family.  We effortlessly fall into the laid back country atmosphere.  We unwind.  We relax.  We recharge.

There is no urgency, no feeling that we have to see this and we must do that. We play. We sleep if we are tired.  We eat if we are hungry.  There is no need to watch a clock.  It is simplistic. Uneventful.  And given our usually eventful lives, uneventful is a welcomed change.

M loves the Amish and the Amish love M.  M's standard greeting for most people is, "Hello, friend!"  M's greeting is neither quiet nor shy.  M's greeting is never lukewarm.  M greets you with enthusiasm and genuine emotion and a smile big and bright.  He may even offer up a bear hug.  He is honestly happy to greet you.  Somehow, I think the Amish especially appreciate M. I think they understand that, like themselves, M is often misunderstood.  Judged.  Stared at.  Treated as a novelty.  And perhaps, from time to time, mistreated.

On a recent visit to Amish Country,  M and an Amish man became fast friends.  The Amish man owned a dairy farm and offered tours.  He invited M to be his guest at the farm.  Our family piled into his buggy and M and Miss J were invited to sit in the front seat with the Amish man.  As soon as we were seated, he handed the reigns to Miss J and told her to drive. Her face lit up.  "Really?" she asked.  He nodded.  She did graze the bumper of a parked car, but quickly got the feel for it and commanded the buggy with confidence.  When the reigns were handed to M, M giggled and took the buggy off road through a cornfield..  As the buggy bounced along the bumpy terrain, Mr A and I shot each other horrifed glances (And yes, a brief thought ran through my mind that I just might die, in a runaway Amish buggy, in a country cornfield.) , but M and the Amish man just laughed.
 Safely back on paved road, M, who was so happy, so filled with joy and so overcome by that moment, looked at the Amish man and said, "I'm so awesome!  You're awesome too!"
It was perfect. Extraordinary because we, for a moment, got to be perfectly ordinary.  All it was, all it took, was a buggy ride through the country.  A simple glue to hold us together.

 M's words have become sort of a mantra for us.  Periodically we will just look at one another and say, "I'm awesome! You're awesome too!"

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