Dear Little Girl I Never Met,
I wonder if you even remember the day when you were eating lunch in the cafeteria and your teacher asked you if you would show around a dad and his little boy, because the little boy was feeling quite nervous about going to your school next year. I hear it was no big deal to you, but you should know how big a deal it was to us. Our boy has changed schools three times already as he looks to start fourth grade. He is sweet and kind and bright and cute, but his autism sometimes keeps people from seeing that, and school has come to represent a kind of torture for him.
I couldn't be on that tour because of work, but when I called my husband afterward, I asked him to rate on a scale of one to ten how he felt about our decision to enroll our son. Before he would answer my question, he just had to tell me about you. He said you didn't just tour Roo around, but that you introduced him to other kids, you encouraged him, and you were just naturally friendly, undaunted by any differences you might have noticed. My husband said, yes, the school looked clean and safe, the teachers were friendly, the curriculum looked fine, but he said he'd have to give the school a fourteen, because you embody everything we hope to find in a school. I am sure you have wonderful parents, but our fiercest hope is that your school culture nurtured your ease and graciousness.
That night when I asked my son how he liked his new school, he looked me in the eye, and he said, "Mom, I made a friend there!" And I've been wanting to thank you ever since.
Sincerely, Rooster's Mama
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Rooster's Mom is a parent, educator, wife, mom, and writer. She blogs at roostercalls.blogspot.com.