This morning after gathering her coloring book and crayons, I lift her into her wheelchair. She knows me now and always greets me with a huge smile. We've been spending some time together each morning her and I. As the sun starts to filter through the fancy wood blinds I look over, she smiles and I see a radiant girl.

"Where's pink?" she asked. I help her find the color she needs. Dora the Explorer's shoes are going to be pink today. I hadn't planned on spending each morning with Emily. There is an hour or so where my daughter Lydia is in a religion class each morning and Emily's mother is her instructor.
Actually I had not given much thought to where Emily would be during that time each day. Now we share a table in the early hours and my life is better for it.

Her questions are generally very simple. She loves Dr Pepper and coloring. Her time each day is not being spent in the office or at PTA meetings or hosting the neighborhood block party, they are spent in a day program and at her home with her parents.

This morning my heart pauses a little as she asks, "Am I smart?". I smile and reassure her that she is and then she continues, " What is smart? I can't cook. I don't drive".
I take her hand and explain that smart is knowing something. I assure her that she is the best kind of smart. She knows how to make people laugh and helps them to smile. She brings joy to people. With a world that has so much darkness, her kind of smart is so needed. She is such a blessing to those who know her.

The moment passes; she is coloring Dora's dress brown and I have just been taught a soul lesson.

As a parent and a homeschooling mom maybe I'm concerned more than I should be about how the world views what is a success or the best kind of smart. I am finding the best lessons in my life always come from unexpected places.

Thank you Emily for gifting me your picture. Guess what, I love coloring too!

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