Laura was our grocery bagger today. She had a darling face with pixie nose and big blue eyes, but right away I could tell she was different. Maybe it was the short crew cut she wore or her high-pitched sing-song voice. Or maybe it was all the inappropriate questions she asked me. "How old are your twins? Why are they crying so loud? When is their birthday? When is your birthday? What is your name? How many brothers and sisters do you have?"
And, although the twins were having their typical checkout meltdown and the cashier and other customers rolled their eyes, I looked Laura in the eye and answered every question and chatted like we were long-lost friends.
You see, I was thinking of Laura's mother. A mother somewhere praying that her different daughter was having a good day on the job. A mother who watched neighbor kids hop on the big yellow school bus while Laura got in a little silver van and went to school miles away. A mother who endured countless dirty looks in libraries, movie theaters and church meetings. A mother who spent thousands of hours and dollars on doctor visits, medication and social skills groups. A mother whose heart burst with pride at the sight of her daughter wearing an Acme uniform and bringing home her first paycheck.
"I don't like loud crying," Laura said as we were heading for the door. "But I know I'm supposed to be ok with things I can't change."