Have you ever met a child that didn’t play with toys? Or a child who cried when a toy was placed in her hand? A child who didn’t appreciate the soft comfort of a furry bear, or bunny? Have you ever met a child that didn’t laugh or smile?
Before my daughter, I thought that children like this belonged only to poverty stricken families – families from third world countries who are amid dieses and famine. Families who could not afford food or the luxuries of toys. Surely, a child like this must come from a place like that – where they have never know the laughter and joy of playtime.
My daughter does not smile nor plays with toys. She never laughs. She cringes and cries when we attempt to place a stuffed animal in her hands. She prefers to be left alone, sucking her thumb. My daughter knows all too well the harshness of hospitals and emergency rooms – the touch of a needle poking her arm trying to find a vein for blood, or to administer medication. My daughter’s brain is “broken”, she suffers from seizures, and she is not normal.
Her only joy is to be held and cuddled, and even then I’m not sure that brings her joy. It does makes me feel better. It is very sad to think of a child that does not play with toys. It breaks my heart to see the toys in her room that daily go untouched. However, it opens my eyes to see her world a little differently. What must she be feeling or thinking? Is she happy?
I pray for the day that she gives me an unprovoked laugh or smile. I pray for the day that she walks. I want her to use the words Mommy and Daddy. I do not expect her to ever be normal, but it would be nice to see signs of life.
Have you ever met a child that does not play with toys? Please meet my beautiful daughter Jenelle.