Charlie usually rides the bus, but there are mornings or afternoons each week where I drop him off or pick him up myself. A few days ago we had just such an occasion, and I pushed Charlie over to school–he in the front seat of a double stroller and the twins riding together in the back, which was pulled down bassinet-style.

We pulled up to class and there with Charlie’s teacher stood a little boy who had class with Charlie last year. An adorable little guy with red hair and freckles, I’m not sure exactly what his disability is as he looks perfectly normal to me. Of course, I’m probably the worst judge of that in the entire world. All kids who can walk and talk look pretty darn normal to me. As we walked up, he told the teacher, “Chawee.”

The little boy is no longer in Charlie’s class–he spends most of his day in Kindergarten–but it’s the job of one of the special ed teachers to get him to class. Charlie’s teacher greeted us, and placed Charlie in his wheelchair. She then announced to the red-headed boy, “Charlie is going to go with us to take you to Kindergarten.” The little boy smiled, put one hand on the chair, and then decided, he’d like to push it. And so he did–him pushing, so low to the ground he couldn’t possibly see over the chair–and the teacher above him, guiding the chair and making sure there were no accidents.

Off went my little boy. A seamless part of his school. Accepted as he is by people too young to care that he’s different.

I left with a smile on my face.

Charlie and a hamsa--part of our Africa study

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  1. The fact that he is doing an Africa study makes him 10 times smarter than I ever will be.
    I’m having a panic attack just thinking about 3 kids in a stroller. You are truly Mom of the Year.

  2. This may be the best thing I’ve read in weeks.

  3. This makes MY heart happy…..can’t imagine how it makes YOU feel. :)

  4. Oh, I love this so! And yay for “Chawee”! :)

  5. Oh what a sweet story. This makes me even more proud of my daughter who is the only kid in her 4th grade class who chooses to spend time in the intensive skills classroom (instead of the pre-school class). I have always taught her to treat kids with disabilities the way she would want to be treated and not to be scared when they yell or act out that they are probably just really frustrated about something, she understood that and now tries to help them whenever she can.

  6. Awesome! That brought tears to my eyes. I love when little kids are so sweet like that. Kudos also to the special ed teacher who allowed that boy to push Charlie’s chair.

  7. Thanks for sharing this happy story today! Your comment about how Charlie’s acceptance by people too young to care that he is different is so true. A memory immediately came to my mind from my early years of teaching first grade. My dear friend and co-worker who is about twice my size, a decade younger, and much, much darker-skinned was in my classroom one day when one of my students asked her if she was my twin!! We have never forgotten that amusing, but perfect lesson. Children do not automatically “see” differences in people, even ones that we think are so obvious. They see people. The prejudices they have are taught or at the very least learned through observation. It is such a happy day when everyone is accepted unconditionally exactly as they are. There is not a single one of us without blemish. I’m glad today was a happy day for you, Charlie, his teacher, and one precious little kindergarten friend.

  8. What a happy story. Warms my heart. 100%

  9. Aww.. such a sweet sweet story.

  10. I love this so very much.

  11. I have one daughter who is “typical” in almost every way. I have another daughter who is “special” in a few ways. They attend the same multi-age Montessori classroom. They both fit beautifully. What strikes me about parenting is it doesn’t matter what the challenges or the worries are, at the end of the day, you just want your children to belong.

  12. I am having such a struggle dealing with my son but this post is so encouraging thank you