A mom in West Hartford, Connecticut was brought to tears recently when a neighbor left a bench sitting out by a tree for her son to sit on. It wasn’t just any tree though and it wasn’t just any bench. Hanging high in the tree’s branches was a big American flag and written on the bench was a label that said “Finn’s bench”.
“Finn’s bench” refers to parents Kevin and Brooke’s 6-year-old son Finn Daly.
The child is living with both autism and Down syndrome, a situation that affects him in different ways. For one, he is fascinated by American flags.
He can sit for hours just watching the stars and stripes blowing in the wind.
“I think it’s the movement,” Kevin told CBS.
Finn’s mom Brooke elaborated on the statement.
“If it’s moving, if the wind is blowing, he would sit there for an hour and just watch the flag go back and forth, which is kind of the beauty of Finn, too,” Brooke said.
Her son is able to appreciate the little things that most people don’t pay any attention to.
It’s quite beautiful. Something as simple as a flag waving high in the sky is enough to make him stop and think. For Finn, walking through the family’s neighborhood is like what walking through an art gallery would be for many adults.
“We’re fortunate we have a lot of flags in the neighborhood, so it creates for very long and slow walks,” Kevin said.
Every time Finn notices a flag, he’ll stop and pause to take in the sight.
It’s a behavior that one of the family’s neighbors couldn’t help but take notice of. The man’s name is Todd Disque.
“The boy would just sit there, transfixed by the flag. I was like, God bless America. This kid wants to look at my flag, then I’m all for it,” said Todd.
That’s when he decided to build the bench.
He figured if Finn was going to hang out there, at the very least, he needed to have a bench to sit on! He was just trying to be a good neighbor.
However, Finn’s parents were blown away when they saw it. It was such a simple thing, but to this family, it meant everything. Todd’s act of kindness brought Brooke to tears.
“I’m crying and my daughter Rose is saying, ‘Don’t cry mom, it’s okay, this is exciting.’ Just a little overwhelming, but in a good way,” Brooke said.
There is something uniquely patriotic about stopping to admire an American flag.
With so much division in the country these days, it’s beautiful when something good comes out of the flag. Finn, with his childlike innocence, and the neighbor with the little bench he built, both serve as a small beacon of hope in a turbulent sea.
“It’s such a small gesture, but things like this really restore your faith in humanity. Like, there’s still good people out there that want to do kind things for no other reason than just to be kind,” Brooke said.
It is a lovely story that really makes you stop and think. It wouldn’t hurt for us to all try and be a little more like Finn. He has no idea what is going on in the world of news and politics, and maybe it’s better that way. He can stop and appreciate the flag in its purest form — simply for its beauty, without all of the other baggage.
Watch the full video of the news story from CBS below.
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