A few years ago, I volunteered in the children’s ministry at my church. Most of the time, the volunteers were busy serving the children. There were a few opportunities during the class for the volunteers to chit-chat.

Working with the children was easy. The adult socializing was hard for me.

“Your son is so bright,” a volunteer said to one of the moms working in the room.

“I can’t believe he’s reading already at his age,” the volunteer continued.

The mom commented on her son’s extraordinary skills and started to list more for the volunteer. This exchange went back-and-forth for a few minutes while I stood nearby and listened.

The volunteer then added, “I brought my nephew tonight. He’s really bright too.” Then she described his achievements in kindergarten.

I felt awkward. I couldn’t join the conversation. At the time, my daughter had just started elementary school, a year later than most children. Her developmental disability meant she was behind in every subject, and she was nonverbal. Life had many struggles back then. There were victories too but not the kind these women were discussing.

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