Today, I took Ethan out for a mother-son date night to Chick-fil-A. We ate our dinner and then of course, to the play room! Ethan finally has gotten the confidence to play in that room…climb through the tunnels and interact with the other children. This is a BIG and new step for him. He ran in ahead of me, while I was cleaning up our table. When I got in and sat down, I heard a girl say to two o…ther children, “Don’t talk to him, he’s weird.” My heart weeped for my son and I know my eyes shot a look at that child like daggers shooting out of my eyes. I sat there and thought about it for a few minutes. I could continue to dwell on THAT comment, or I could use this as a teachable moment. Then, one of the other girls came up to me, not realizing I was his mother, and said to me “that boy is weird”. There was my chance. I said to her and the other kids that Ethan was very small and very sick when he was born. Because of this, he marches to the beat of his own drum, but if you take time to get to know him, you will find that he is really funny and silly. They did. The kids that all played together and the girl who made the original comment especially made a point to play with Ethan. She also gave me and very sincere “Sorry”. They all had lots of fun together and she was very sweet with Ethan. I suspect that next time she comes across another “weird” child, she will approach them differently.Years earlier, I took a similar opportunity to “teach” another child a similar lesson with a downs child who was playing near Maia. The following summer, that child became good friends with Ethan at camp and was VERY protective of him.As parents, we can all encourage our kids to take time to get to know those kids who are a little different and see how they too shine. It meant the world to Ethan tonight and I am sure it would mean the world to other special children like him.