There is a boy named Payton, who sees the world from a different view. He takes his time with everything, and often sees the things we may have missed. From the time he was a little baby, he would sit and watch the world go by, and with great intensity, seek ways to learn about what was happening around him.
Payton was born with bright orange hair, but it did not look so much like hair. It looked a lot more like fuzz. He was a large baby since he decided to take his time being born. (His mother did not realize this was an example of his entire life until later!). He was nine days later than the estimated due date! And even when he was being born, he decided to stop and take a break. The doctor’s thought there was something wrong, but really it was just Payton, taking his time.
He was a whole ten pounds, five ounces when he was born! The midwife exclaimed, “This is the biggest baby I have ever delivered!” He did not cry, he did not scream, instead, with his intense (and at that time, blue eyes) looked seriously upon his mother’s face. Payton had the face of a serious old man, and all through the first two years of his life, his mother worried that there was something wrong. But we will get to that in another part of this story. His parent’s even decided to add a name to his name, since this huge baby needed an extra-long name! So, Payton James David was born on May 24th, 2006.
Payton’s family would go get pictures taken, and would Payton ever smile for the camera? NO! He would give his serious, old man face, and watch what was going on intently. He was not all that interested in playing with toys, but the one person he liked to play with was his brother, Gracen. People at church would ask to hold him, cuddle him, and play with him, but his mother would have to tell them that all he would do is cry. He did not like strangers holding him, but was happy and content to watch them.
As Payton grew, his mother became scared. Why did Payton act so differently from Gracen? Where Gracen would smile, laugh, kiss and hug his mother and father, Payton just preferred to be held. Where Gracen started talking at a year old, Payton did not say a word. Was there something wrong with him? His mother would ask. Does he have autism? His mother prayed and prayed over her little boy. She prayed that she would have the strength to parent a special needs child if he was one; she prayed that God would heal her baby. His mother took him to the doctor the first time, and the doctor said, “If he doesn’t say at least 15 words by his next checkup, we will have to get some testing done.” But his mother knew there was nothing wrong with him. She saw the understanding in his eyes, the intelligence behind the quiet side. She knew, somewhere deep down, that Payton was going to be okay.
When his mother took him to his next checkup, Payton said nowhere near 15 words. The doctor gave his mother a referral to a speech therapist. She said, “Since his hearing is fine, there may be something more wrong with him than we realize.” But his mother knew that God would provide.
Their family moved soon after that, the referral was put on hold. His mom and dad were busy packing, unpacking and learning a whole new city. But Payton still would not talk! Although the doctor’s appointment was put on hold, it was still in the back of their minds. When is Payton going to talk? It took Payton longer to sit, crawl and walk, so maybe the talking thing was a part of that “lateness,” too.
And then one day, to his parent’s surprise, shortly after his second birthday, Payton just began to talk! He did not start with a few small words, which would have been too easy. He started with full sentences! Out came all the words that had been stored up in that brain. Big words, small words, words everywhere! All the time! He may have taken his time to speak, but once he spoke there was no going back!
Payton then took his time writing his name, riding his trike, running and playing and learning to read. To this day he takes his time getting dressed, he takes his time cleaning, he takes his time eating and walking and running! He takes his time making his bed in the morning, and takes his time putting on his shoes. There is an entire world to explore, walking from the front of his house to the van when leaving for anywhere! He is always trailing behind, never in a hurry, always the last to get to where his family is going.
But you know what? He gets there. He learns so much taking his time, listening before speaking, and thinking before talking. He may take more time than what his parents would like (in some instances), but the time he takes is time he learns. It is time he absorbs the sounds, words, sights, and feelings of those around him. Payton may seem oblivious to what is happening, but his personality and character show who he is every step of the way.
I think we can learn a lot from the “Payton’s” of this world. We can learn to slow down, enjoy the beauty of the world around us, and listen to those who need listened to. I cannot wait to see how he grows up, listening and learning and becoming a man of God. How many of us should learn to listen before we speak, learn to think before we talk? I am sure there would be a lot less hurtful words spoken or actions taken.
You see, I am this Payton’s mom. My personality may be the exact opposite of his, but I have learned so much from this little boy. His patience, care, and gentleness amazes me. His loving, compassionate heart astounds and humbles me. His faith is real and he clearly hears God’s voice speaking to Him, because he takes the time to listen. The biggest lesson I have learned from this handsome, red headed boy, is to stop and enjoy the world around me and to be patient with others around me. I thank God for this amazing boy every day of my life, and look forward to seeing who he will become in the future.