Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fitting In

Today's gift is fitting in.

The theme for my daughter's school this year is We All Fit In. The one place I volunteer the majority of my time is with the yearbook. I have always loved taking pictures, so this area just feels natural.

This morning I spent two hours at the school taking pictures...from group class photos to snapshots in all the resource classes. I enjoy not only seeing my girls, but all the kids.

But my favorite thing to see anytime I'm at the school is my daughter with special needs "fitting in". Seeing her going and doing amongst her peers just like they are going and doing makes me one proud mom. I love hearing "there is X's mom (rattling off both of my daughter's names depending on which grade level I am interacting with)! I love seeing her enjoying school and knowing she is happy....makes me happy.

Just as much as I love seeing her amongst her peers, I enjoying seeing all the children who have special needs "fitting in" amongst their peers. Not only are the children with special needs learning so much from their peers, but their peers are learning so much from them.

When I was snapping away taking pictures, I realized when looking through my lens I was seeing more. The peers my daughter and all the other students with special needs attend school with are the sweetest, most sincere kids. They cheer on our kids. They enjoy being around our kids. They want to learn more about our kids. They are kids treating their peers just they way they would want to be treated!

One of the sweetest moments I encountered today didn't have anything to do with my daughter. I was walking in the hall to go meet my next class to take their group picture when I saw a young girl in the preschool program coming down the hall walking with her walker with the school PT walking by her side. Lining one side of the hall was a group of second grade boys waiting patiently in line to use the restroom. As this little girl walked down the hall toward this group of boys she was drifting off in their direction...like she wanted to go say hi. I didn't know how the boys were going to react and I was very curious.

There was no staring. There was no whispering. There was no negative behaviors. Instead I heard, "good job", "isn't she cute", "way to go"! I honestly couldn't believe my ears. I was beyond happy to have witnessed this interaction!

While my daughter didn't have anything to do with this moment I witnessed, if it wasn't for her having special needs it would not have touched me like it did or I probably would have kept on walking down the hall. Something today made me stop.

The school theme "We all fit in", couldn't be more perfect for my daughters school. I couldn't be a happier parent on all fronts for having my daughters...one with special needs, one without...be a part of a school which not only encourages all the students to be their best, but teaches them to respect one another and to encourage each other....no matter who you are.

Here is a quote for today...

Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter- Bernard Baruch

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