February 24, 2012

It's just a thing.

Schuyler brought something significant home yesterday. It wasn't much to look at, just a scrap of paper with an email address. It was from one of her lunch table friends, the met I met when we had lunch.

Schuyler may be on her way to having a real and age-appropriate friend.

Hopefully they'll opt to spend some time together outside of school. I'm trying to stay out of this, aside from bugging her about how lunch went every day like a big pest. Schuyler sometimes needs a little persistent nagging to follow through on things. I can do that.

Anyway, I guess it paid off, because now they appear to be friends. Schuyler emailed her to ask if she wanted to go to the mall sometime soon. We'll see how that turns out.

Earlier this evening, when Schuyler was responding to an email from one of the older girls she met when we visited my friend's band program last year, she told her about her new friend. She described her as nice and kind and funny. Interestingly, she didn't mention that her new friend uses a wheelchair.

I felt pretty certain that this was a good thing, Schuyler simply listing the things that are the most important to her about her friend. But at the same time, I recognized that there was a possibility that she might see the wheelchair as a negative, something she didn't want to tell someone.

So, I asked her about it, because I'm that guy.

"So I'm curious about something," I said. "Why did you decide not to mention that she uses a wheelchair?"

Schuyler's eyes lit up. "Oh yeah!" she said, going back to the still-unsent email and adding "and she uses a wheelchair". I liked that response; it suggested that she might have actually overlooked that fact.

"Do you think that's an important thing to say about her?" I asked.

Schuyler thought for a second. "Yeah, it's important."

"Do you think it's a bad thing?" I asked.

"No," she said. "It's just a thing."

Well, there you go.


Kelley O said...

Schuyler is awesome.

Pugh Family said...

Oh, how I desire to have a heart as pure as Schuyler's. You're a good dad, Rob, and I appreciate you allowing us a glimpse into your lives. As a mama of a 6-month-old boy with BPP, I find encouragement and affirmation in many of your stories.

Tubaville Quilts said...

I love Schuyler's style :)

CarrieT said...

Wise words from your girl! I hope their friendship grows and grows.

Carrie T.

Sabrina said...

How beautiful. I hope that Schuyler and this girl develop a wonderful friendship!

kris said...

Wow, I love your kid. And I love your parenting. Well played.

Elizabeth said...

I love that we're all so excited about this -- I guess it's testament to our love for your daughter and her parents -- and our collective hope for all of our children, bound up together.

Becky said...

I was going to say she's wise beyond her years, but hell, I know a lot of adults who don't get this.

Omar said...

Just one reason we love her so much.

Sidebar: am I the only one who feels incredibly old knowing that Schuyler is old enough to be emailing her pals from school?

Julia Roberts said...

I love her as much as I can a child I've never met in person.

Helena Sue said...

I think we can all learn from Schuyler - what a bright girl. :)

Miz Kizzle said...

What did girls do in their leisure time before there were malls?
I hope they become friends. It made me sad to think that Schuyler has never had a friend her own age.

thecatsmeow said...

Absolutely loving her response... It's a shame there are a lot of people--many of whom are much older than Schuyler--who don't see the tremendous value in this way of seeing things. I discovered when I was just about her age how awful kids (and adults) can be when confronted with a person's disability. This story tells me you're doing a fabulous job at teaching her more compassionate ways to look at people...and that she's got a lot of heart. This post totally rocks!!

Niksmom said...

Pure awesomeness. All the way around. I hope they become fast friends. :-)

Lennie said...

What a cool kid. I'd love to meet her someday. :)

My daughter is NT, but attended an inclusive preschool. I remember doing a happy dance when she was 3 and told me about her most recent imaginary friend who just happened to have a wheelchair, with pink stars on it.

teamaidan said...

As a mother of a child who uses a wheelchair and has always ached for him to have real friends, this story makes me jump for joy. What a perfect balance between declaring the obvious to be important, but not completely defining. Thanks for sharing. Heather

amylia said...

It's just a thing.
I like that.
A lot.

Cool kid, that one.
The ol' apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, yo.