“different” is the new “special”

This morning, as every other weekday morning, Daniel and I waited patiently (impatiently) for the bell to ring so we could enter the school grounds to begin yet another great school day. We weren’t alone as we were surrounded by a number of anxious, eager boys and girls and a few parents. Today, just like any other day, I find myself amused with the urgency almost all of the kids seem to have to start the school day. Are they all like this all day in the classroom? Probably not. I imagine that a number of them are just eager to hit the playground…a normal kind of kid thing.

While we waited this morning, one of Daniel’s classmates came up to greet him hello.

“HELLO DANIEL!”

Little Miss A. has special needs and challenges not unlike Daniel. She is very outgoing, enthusiastic and very loud but she is the sweetest little girl in the class. Okay, she is the only girl. In spite of the fact she is so loud and often breaks Daniel’s extra large personal bubble, it is clear he likes his classmate.Little Miss A, in turn, respects the fact that he can only take so much interaction and quickly turns her attention to me.

“ARE YOU DANIEL’S MOM? I’M A. I’M IN DANIEL’S CLASS. HE IS MY FRIEND. YOU HAVE GLASSES JUST LIKE DANIEL. IS IT BECAUSE YOU ARE DANIEL’S MOM? I’M DANIEL’S FRIEND. HE IS IN MY CLASS.HOW COME YOU WEAR GLASSES LIKE DANIEL?”

Our conversation is mostly one sided and rather loud. It is also very much like previous conversations that she and I have had before. Honestly I enjoy our brief encounters. I can see the progress she has made. Just like Daniel, she has made a lot of progress. This morning our usual interaction was interrupted by another girl who attends our school. I don’t know her but she looked to be in 3rd or 4th grade and, my guess is she is in a mainstream class. She rushes past Little Miss A, runs up to Daniel and gives him a BIG HUG. Daniel noticeably stiffens.

“That girl (referring to Little Miss A) is always that way,”, she nods towards Daniel’s classmate. “She is in one of the different classes here.”

I blink several times at this precocious young lady and then her mama. “One of those different classes? How are they different?”

Go ahead and chastise me for asking.

The precocious one smiles sweetly and nods yes, “Well some kids that go here aren’t like us. They are different so they have to be in the different classes. But they still get to play on our playground and they sometimes talk to us. We’re supposed to be nice to them even if they are different.”

I know, she is just a little girl. She doesn’t realize how this sounds. On the other hand, there is her mama who is smiling proudly and nodding her head in agreement. Any moment I imagine we will have to join hands and sing kumbaya.

I look quzzically at the precocious one and her mama.

Mama adds, “It’s sometimes hard to have these kids here but I guess it is good that our kids learn how to deal with the different kids.”

:::blink, blink:::

“My son is different. He is in the same class as Little Miss A.”

::::rrrrrriinnnnggggg!!!::::

Saved by the bell!

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13 thoughts on ““different” is the new “special”

  1. If I was that Mama… I would have been thinking “Oh Shite”…

    And I’m with Fraukenyc… I like different… I like Daniel…

    We REALLY should get the monsters together soon :)

    I know we would have plenty to talk about :o)

    xoxo

  2. oh you were far too nice… she would have received an earful from me and I would have very bluntly ‘corrected’ the girl too…

  3. Phhhhhhhtttttt….. Different is the best! I would hate to be one of the ‘same’ ones. I’ve always been considered a little different and I’m with the others… I like Different!

  4. Um, sorry…but we are ALL different. Duh. Otherwise we’d all be the SAME. And that sure isn’t the case. Viva la differance!

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