Bumper Sticker from Bumper Art
You know those bumper stickers? The ones that say Proud Parent of an Honor Student at Such and Such Elementary? Well, I’m thinking of making one. But mine might look a little different.
You see, I’m a really proud parent. And though there are a million directions in which I could take this regarding my daughter with autism, today this is about her sister.
You remember her right? The one that I was talking about just yesterday?
The one who I worry about. (About whom I worry?)
The one who has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen.
The one who doesn’t quite fall into step with her peers.
The one who already understands – at the tender age of ten – that running with the ‘cool’ kids isn’t always the ‘coolest’ thing to do.
The one who rails at injustice and cries for people she’s never met.
The one who came home last night to tell me that she wants to start a green thumb club so that she can encourage kids to clean up their schools and their parks.
The one who teaches me something about compassion every day.
The one whose faith is absolute.
The one who convinced her Mama that God is real.
The one who believes that through Him we are all connected.
The one whose friend’s mom’s eyes filled with tears the other day as she told me, “You know, she is the only person he is ever truly himself with.”
The one who cannot abide cruelty and never, ever finds it funny.
The one who will change the world.
The one who, in her own way, already is.
The one who came home the night before last with news.
“Mama,” she said proudly, “I got a leaf on the Tree of Kindness today!”
She was smiling from ear to ear as she thrust the piece of paper in front of me.
“Look, Mama!” she said.
I read the words and was drenched in pride.
Katie was caught in an act of kindness when
she sat with a student who didn’t have a friend at lunch.
When I asked her what had happened to prompt the leaf, she shrugged. It was just another day. A girl in her class had been sitting alone at lunch. The kind of kid we all might recognize. A kid like ours.
So she’d left her table and walked over to ask if she wouldn’t mind some company. She said she wouldn’t, so she joined her. And they chatted.
“You know, Mama, we just ate and talked.”
“What’d ya talk about, baby?”
“Oh, ya know, stuff.”
And so it was that one less kid in the world ate lunch alone, a mother’s heart burst open with pride and I realized something. I’m going to need a much bigger bumper.