It’s always cute to watch kids play together, but one dad got super emotional watching his daughter play with a little girl she didn’t know. The anonymous father, who shared the story on Reddit, took his sons and 12-year-old daughter, Arwen, to the park like usual. Arwen has autism and tends to keep to herself — and she’s extremely shy around strangers.
When a little girl named Ava approached the man to ask if she could play with his daughter, he explained that Arwen may not want to socialize and that Ava shouldn’t take it personally.
"I told the girl that Arwen doesn't talk, and that if she didn't want to play it wasn't the girl's fault... 'It's not that she doesn't like you, she just isn't comfortable with new people,’” he wrote on Reddit.
He figured Ava would ignore his daughter, but she was undeterred by his words and asked Arwen to play anyway. The dad was surprised and thrilled to see his daughter warm up to Ava immediately. She followed her new friend to the climbing wall and, when the girls played on the slides, Arwen looked back to make sure her new friend was right behind her.
“You have to understand that Arwen is 12 years old, and this is the first time she has ever interacted with a child that she doesn't see every day," he continued. "She even ignores most of her classmates. This was a huge deal for her."
When it was time to head home, Arwen didn’t just say goodbye to Ava — she gave her new friend a hug. The touching gesture made Arwen’s parents and even the teacher on the playground tear up immediately. (I’m not crying — there’s something in my eye.)
“That never happens. She doesn't even initiate hugs with people she knows,” Arwen’s dad explained in his post.
Watching his child form a bond with a stranger was incredibly touching, and he thanked Ava for her kindness. He said the girl’s look of surprise and confusion was what moved him most.
"It was obvious that it never occurred to her to treat Arwen differently than any other kid. I think that was what got me the most. I never thought I'd get to see her make a friend,” he explained.
Ava’s parents weren’t at the playground that day, but he wants them to know their daughter’s actions were more impactful than she realized. He concluded his post by praising her mom and dad for raising such an amazing child.
It looks like this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Read the full post below.