We were hiking with 2 of Sabrina’s friends when I heard the words.
We had stopped to take a snack break. Sabrina was hoarding the can of Pringles, and we were all laughing about how she had pushed her friend’s hand away when the friend tried to get in the can (Sabrina’s can, apparently). As we laughed, Sabrina’s sister gave her a huge hug. And then heard the words.
“Sabrina, you are so loved.”
I stopped what I was doing and looked up and just stared. I stared at her friend’s face, the one who said it. She was looking at Sabrina with a huge smile on her face. I looked at her other friend’s face, and it was completely unmoved, like those words had been casual words, and nothing out of the ordinary. I looked at Sabrina, who was nonchalantly chomping away at her Pringles, unaware of how huge those words were. Then I looked at my younger daughter’s face, Sabrina’s little sister. She too was staring at the friend who said it. I could tell it made an impact on her. She looked back at Sabrina, and then gave her another hug.
Those words had a big impact on me. I flashed back to 3.5 years ago, before Sabrina was at our neighborhood school, and how the thought of hearing something like that from one of Sabrina’s typical classmates would have been a complete dream.
Sabrina’s sister and I talked about it later, and she repeated the words to Sabrina. “Mama, she said ‘Sabrina, you’re so loved’! It was so sweet!” They had a big impact on her, too.
This is why I love sending Sabrina to school every day. Because Sabrina is building a little community of kids who see what a sweet little soul she is. A community of kids who know her, who warmly greet her in the morning and say “Come on, Sabrina, let’s stand in line together.” A community of kids who are excited about and proud of her accomplishments, no matter how small.
Isn’t that what any parent wants for their child?