My daughter had a rough time at the beginning of the school year. On the first day of school, once we were in the car ready to come home, she broke down and sobbed. “It was the worse day ever!” She said.
Sometimes, it’s not easy being a kid with a disability. My daughter has a new class this year, and her classmates are naturally curious about why she has a wheelchair, why she uses a walker, why she has braces on her legs, and why she walks different.
It’s not easy to be a first grader that has to answer such personal questions about the things that make you different from everyone else. We have rehearsed how to answer those questions, but they came at her often and unexpectedly, crumbling her courage to speak up.
Kids are learning, growing, it is natural for them to wonder why someone is different, and why they might need special equipment to do the very things that come so naturally to them – like walking. So my husband and I visited the first grade class.
We brought apples, because there is something about apples. Apples can be green, red, or speckled; they look different but they are still apples. You can eat an apple, or an apple pie, or apple sauce. You can drink apple juice, or apple cider, or even apple soda. And it goes without saying that you can eat apple pie, but you cannot drink it. And you can drink apple soda, but not eat it.
We are like apples. We might look different on the outside, but we are more alike than different, we are still people, we have the same essence. And we all have different abilities. While my daughter might not be able to walk well, she is very creative, which makes her a great artist.
Yes, we are like apples. We all look a little different on that outside. We all have different gifts and talents. We are all perfectly unique.