Last week we took the kid to her first dance class and I cried when she walked into the room all by herself, sat like she was supposed to, listened when her name was called. She just walked into a strange place with no one she knew and got through the class. I was so proud.

This week I got teary during her class again and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I watched her go through the stretches and follow the teacher as best she could. She hopped and bounced like she always does. She talked to the teacher, she waved and smiled at me.

Suddenly it dawned on me.

Watching her, by herself, following along, doing what she does, being herself, trying to understand. It’s not just that she’s older now and she’s growing up so fast.

My daughter, in a room full of girls (and one boy) her age is just a little bit different. She’s a little bit not the same as the other kids. She’s a little bit something.

Watching her in that room, following along, doing her best, standing a bit apart, I got teary because I realized that she’s going to be an amazing person but she’s got a struggle ahead of her. She’s going to fight, and she’ll probably win, but it’s going to be hard for all of us. Watching her in that room full of little girls (and one boy) who are all a little bit different, I saw my little girl might be the most different of all.

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