Her life has been scattered with examples. My oldest daughter may not even be aware of all of them, even though every example includes her. The first one that comes to mind happened at a very magical place, indeed. Disney World. She was about two and a half at the time. We were in a line (of course) and I looked to find my little one climbing onto the wheel of a wheelchair. I moved to retrieve my child and rescue the occupant of the wheelchair, when I heard "Please let her stay." I turned to see the parents of the little girl in the wheelchair watching our daughters interaction. I explained that I didn't want my little one to come on too strong. The parents of the little girl explained that 'coming on too strong' would be a welcome change to the invisible forcefield that typically surrounded their daughter. That most children kept a distance between themselves and their little girl. My daughter, accustomed to my dad's wheelchair, never saw the barrier. She only saw the possibility of a friend. I watched my little girl as she hung on the wheelchair of a little girl hanging on to my little girl's every word.
There have been many examples throughout the years... The autistic boy at school that can't get on the bus without telling my daughter goodbye...The little girl in second grade that was paired with my daughter because they didn't have funding for a teacher's aide... And so many more.
There is something magical about these interactions. Something that I can not accurately put into words. The other day I mentioned to my husband that, if she ever went into teaching, she would be a fabulous special education teacher. She's tossed around "what I want to be when I grow up's" since she first learned to talk. There was vet, doctor, writer, singer, actor, lawyer, and the most recent goal: psychopathologist. Never has teacher shown up on the list. Today, when watching a documentary about a blind teens that were taking a film class she seemed to be hit with nothing short of a calling. "Mom, I really think that I would enjoy being their teacher." I'm sure mothers of Psychopathologists are very proud. But I think in that moment, I had them beat.