It was a brief conversation but one I won’t soon forget. Five year old Daniel climbed into my lap and we watched his cousin Anna coo and babble on the floor.
“Mommy, is baby Anna special like Zachary is?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” I replied, prompting for more.
“You know, like Zachary is extra special because he can’t walk and do other stuff.”
“No buddy, Anna’s not that kind of special. But Zachary’s a pretty special brother isn’t he?” I said.
"Yep." Daniel quickly said.
And then that was it. Daniel jumped down to run and play. That short conversation and his innocent words reached a place in my heart I’m pretty sure I’d forgotten was there. Daniel doesn’t really think of Zachary being any other way. Before he started Kindergarten this year he spent hundreds of hours in therapy sessions and doctor’s appointments with Zachary and I. Daniel has seen a lot. But he doesn’t see Zachary as different, but rather as being just who he is. Daniel doesn’t see Zachary as broken, but as extra special. It's very evident in the way he talks to, loves on, and plays with his little brother.
It’s my prayer that as you and I see those with disabilities and special needs that we too don’t see them as different or broken but as extra special, loved by the Almighty God just as much as anyone else. May we see those with disabilities around us in the same way my 5 year old does. Special. Loved by God and just the way they were intended to be.