Best Story of the Week…November 12th…Hearing With a Limp

A 10 year-old boy in my building, walks with a slight limp, something that occurred at birth. It’s barely noticeable, providing you’re not James that is, who alas, has to live with it.

When I heard that they were making fun of him at school, and he wasn’t being chosen for sports, my heart put on its soft, trusty armor, asking his mother if I could take him out for an afternoon snack.

We went to a Le Pain Quotidian a block away, sitting outside in a safe, quiet corner.

Though very well-mannered, he seemed distracted and quite frankly, a little bored, until I told him the tale of my sudden hearing loss.

How I lost friends, many who laughed at me behind my back thinking I couldn’t hear at all. How scared and lonely I felt, and sometimes still feel.

As we ate another round of coconut macaroons, delighted we both preferred over their Belgian Chocolate Brownies, he asked, how I handled being made fun of.

He told me how some classmate named him Chester, who limped in the old show Gunsmoke. The little imp’s father was the one who came up with the name, inappropriately, passing it to his son.

Cruelty never sits well with me, especially directed at a kid, but I just listened, a honed skill, as he told me after promising I wouldn’t tell, that he often goes into the boy’s room and cries in a stall.

I told him I cry all the time…that it’s a good thing.

Clears the air.

“Imagine your head’s like your closet getting a good sweep. It makes room for nicer things, like macaroons and hot cocoa in the afternoon.”

He seemed better after that, me hoping I had helped in some small way, knowing that kids half pay attention while rightfully daydream.

When we got back to our building, the doorman said something to me I couldn’t quite hear, so James said to Michael, like a little knight back in the saddle…

“Try standing on her right. It’s her better ear.”

I guess he was listening after all, a honed skill. Β  πŸ™‚Β Β Β Β Β Β 


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, dessert, Faith, Family, food, friendship, grace, Home, humanity, inspiration, kids, Love, New York City, parents, Sports, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Best Story of the Week…November 12th…Hearing With a Limp

  1. You may never know your full effect on the boy, but I say you are a Miracle of Manhattan. On behalf of the boy and his family, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You would have done the same. Kids struggle. I know I did, and no one cared. That’s what he brought out in me since I too was that kid crying in the stall. Humanity Anne needs to be ignited, then a random act of kindness wouldn’t seem such a big deal, but I thank you for always putting me in such a gracious light. Thanks for taking the time to read what I write. I’m always humbled. πŸ™‚


      • Your young friend is ten years old, same age as the boy who lives across the street from us. Our boy was left at home alone in his crib while his mother was high on drugs. The state removed him, and our neighbors adopted him — long story, much shortened. I see miracles all the time, and so many are unremarked. I can’t help but celebrate those I read about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • WOW!!! Isn’t that something. What a great story Anne. My heart harkens. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    What a sweet boy, Susannah. I so admire the way you know how to say or do the right thing to help others. You have an innate gift.
    Why on earth do parents saddle children with hurtful nicknames? Pookie has a cousin (female) cursed with “Tubby” to this day. Classmates come up with enough names on their own without help from adults.
    I’m sure you eased that little soul’s burden.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Howell says:

    Sweet 😎

    ~Hal Rubenstein from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I had been in your neighborhood when I was a boy. My grade school nickname was “Gimp.” One leg shorter and thinner than the other from being in a cast for nine months after breaking a hip at three. So I lived with it but can’t say it didn’t bother me. When my dad died (I was ten) the nickname stopped. So one set of tears replace the other. You have saintly tendencies, Susannah. That boy will remember your kindness and that memory will sustain him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vasca says:

    Speaking to your right ear Susannah, my heart is full for James…how sweet. I was born w/three birth ‘defects’ which were painfully obvious and kids can be cruel as well as the adults. I was born w/varicose veins from toes to groin on the front of my right leg…not odd enough, unrelatedly big purple birthmarks from top to bottom accompanying the huge veins. After I married I gained lots of spunk and overcame the entire ball of wax. While working in China I met a lovely young woman who wore her hair covering one side of her face…I learned she had a big birthmark on her face. We compared our beauty marks and after our talk she uncovered for keeps! I know how she felt w/all the comments she must have suffered all her life. Ha, I also inherited a familial tremor from my dad…no shaken’ it but it’s much better now.
    Michael was Director of a school/hospital for children w/special needs; Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida after military retirement. Talk about opening your heart…all the way. Love changes everything, as you well know! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kingmidget says:

    Crying is a wonderful thing. I wish there was less shame in it, particularly for us boys of the world. You did a wonderful thing, and I’m guessing it did help him.

    Meanwhile, coconut macaroons over brownies? I just … just … just don’t know what to do with this information. I thought I was getting to know you and now I think you’re an imposter. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dale says:

    Oh, they do listen. When they want to, of course πŸ™‚
    Not many ten-year-olds would be willing to join an “old” lady (coz anyone over 20 is old when you are 10) for an afternoon snack and chat. I’m sure you made more of an impact than you’ll ever know.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Humanity in spades. Your act of kindness and thoughtfulness may help that young lad to nurture his own self worth now. I know someone who stammered when they are younger and at middle school was told to “ugh spit it out, whatever you want to say” by the teacher who duly rolled her eyes at the same time. This person, of whom I speak, felt about 3 inches tall and ashamed because of his condition. Of course many of his class mates also took it upon themselves to help the teacher to ridicule generously. At senior school (your high school) this same person was in a team of speakers who were second in a countywide competition for public speaking. He taught himself to slow down, to think before he spoke and try to make the words come out in the correct order and so they made some sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Clever Girl says:

    Truly heartwarming Susannah.

    I love Le Pain Quotidien! I am especially fond of their chocolate spreads and brownies πŸ™‚ Now I’ll have to try their macaroons πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorryless says:

    People really don’t listen all that much, do they? Most don’t. I mean, the ones who want you to listen to them don’t really think the same thing applies in reverse. So James is way ahead of things, if you ask me.

    Thanks to you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You are so right…in a way we are all like your small friend…looking for someone to listen to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That is such a great story, Susannah. Good for you and for him too. He sounds like quite the guy. You tell this so wonderfully too. You really do have a gift for writing humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.