While walking along the beach in Holland on Sunday evening, I spotted a grandfather sitting with twin boys. As I got closer, I recognized Kellan Gainey, a student in Mrs. VanderPloeg’s class. Kellan was sitting in the sand listening intently to the waves as they washed to the shore. Jake sat on his Grandpa Jack’s lap asking about every sound he heard — people walking, sea gulls, sounds of laughter from children jumping in the waves.
Because Kellan and Jake are legally blind, the beach experience is about sounds, textures and smells. The boys asked about every sound and touch and Grandpa explained each one. It was one the most tender and beautiful moment I have been blessed to observe in a long time.
Kellan recognized my voice and wanted to know, “Where is Mrs. Van (VanderPloeg)?” Of course, if the principal is at the beach, the teachers must be there too! We played in the waves for a little while and then everyone headed home.
Here’s a photo I took of the Gainey boys with Grandpa Jack. Enjoy!