Me: Are you okay?
Me: You seem like you're sad.
Schuyler, shrugging: A little.
Me: Why are you a little sad?
Schuyler: Two mean girls at school.
Me: What did they do?
Schuyler: They made fun of me. "You're stupid. We're not friends at all!"
Me: Oh no! Why did they say that?
Schuyler: They don't like me because I can't talk. I'm different.
Me: You are different, but that's not a bad thing, you know.
Schuyler: I don't want to be different anymore.
And there's a whole conversation to be had after that, the one about how being different is hard, but it's also the thing that makes you special, etc., the whole "purple snowflake" thing.
But Schuyler doesn't always buy it, not entirely, and while she was able to put it behind her by the time she went to bed, I know that it sticks with her now, in ways it didn't before. And all the pep talks and all the Sesame Street sentiments in the world don't change the fact that for a little girl like Schuyler, self-aware and a week away from her eleventh birthday, being different just sucks.
I can (and did) tell her that everyone is different in their own way and that's okay, but she knows that she is very different indeed. And sometimes it is very much not okay.