At our Derby party on Saturday, I met the most extraordinary six-year-old little girl. Her family had come to one of my talks, and since my husband is friends with her dad, we invited them to our Derby party.
She reminds me a bit of a fairy- dainty and lovely and clearly in her own world, most of the time. She talked a little, made a little eye contact, but seemed to prefer her own company. She didn’t seem to have a lot to say to anyone.
Until she got chalk in her hand. THEN, she went to town. She said that her family looked happy. She said that she loved them. She asked them their favorite color. She asked them to write her to ask what her favorite color was. I was amused at that- she wanted to tell them her favorite color, but it had to be part of the dialogue. It had to follow the pattern. She wrote all over my driveway- multiple questions and comments and dialogues.
She’s doing well in kindergarten. Her teacher loves her. She’s reading and writing up a storm. She used the word “appreciate” in her sidewalk conversation. She also wrote, “Senz you sayd YES”, so she is doing what little kids do as well. Her capitals were haphazard. But she’s in kindergarten, and clearly, the written word is her passion area. I marveled at her abilities.
And I RECOGNIZED her… I recognized her discomfort with people and faces and her comfort with expression through writing. I recognized her otherworldliness. I recognized her family’s concerns and worries about her differences and their joys in her capabilities.
And I couldn’t say the word…the “a” word. I’m not a professional who makes diagnoses. She could just be… different. She just might be a fairy. And her parents need to walk that journey themselves without well-meaning input from a nosey acquaintance.
But as they left, I hugged the mom and said, “If you ever want to talk about your daughter, I’m here. I’m a teacher, too, and I love kids.” I wanted them to know that there are other people out there who see the beauty of their child, too. And who marvels at sidewalk talk, too.
And I wondered- what will happen when she gets introduced to blogs and the internet?- the biggest sidewalk there is!