Parent teacher conferences were this week and at this new school 2nd graders and older are asked to participate as well. I was not surprised to hear how well Grace is doing in school, or how much her teacher enjoys her. But I was touched to hear just how sweet my Grace truly is. Two autistic children participate in the class part of the school day. Grace had told me about "P" once and how she helped him sometimes, but her teacher informed me the extent to which she does this. Grace not only helps "P," she volunteers to do so without being asked and picks him as a partner when there is a need. She tries to understand him, even though he doesn't talk much, makes him cards, and cheers him on in his assignments. No one asked her to do this. There was no reward dangled in her face. She happily helps however she can and tries to help "P" feel included.
While every parent is proud of their kids at every age, I am realizing that the pride is more poignant as they get older and make real decisions that make real differences in the lives of others. I had tears in my eyes as Grace's teacher conveyed all this information, knowing as a mother how "P"'s mother must every day hope and pray that her son will be treated well, despite his differences. I am so happy that Grace has chosen to be an answer to that prayer- to be an angel on earth.