Lying in bed one night I began to ponder the meaning of “different.” One adjective that can hold such power in your life. I remember being the kid, teenager, and young adult who embraced different. I wanted everything opposite of the norm. It wasn’t scary, it was exciting. To have something that was different from everyone else is what I strived for.   

Fast forward to parenthood, and the word “different” brought with it a whole new set of worries. Different lost its excitement to me; it brings anxiety and worry.

No parent wants to hear, feel, or witness their child as different. 

Different hurts.  

Different is hard.  

Different brings looks from strangers. 

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Different is hard to understand.  

Different is a daily struggle. 

Different also becomes our teacher.

I have a child who is different. He’s had to learn to speak differently, and he’s struggling to learn differently than most. School and speech are hard for him, and he works at it every single day.

His brain operates differently than other children his age, and it’s my job as his parent to take his different and help make it his normal. 

I still struggle with my own anxiety about him being different, but the beautiful part of his story is, he doesn’t know he’s different. Through all of his struggles, his light has never dimmed. He’s never met a stranger, he has the biggest, most tender heart and an infectious personality to match.

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Throughout the past six years, I’ve come to learn that different can still be exciting. How exciting is it to know I was chosen by Godmeto be his mom. I was chosen to walk this different life with him. I was chosen to keep his light bright and his spirit high. I was chosen for different and different is beautiful! 

Brooke Daniel

I'm a stay-at-home mom of three, ages 6, 4, and 1. My oldest was diagnosed with apraxia of speech at the age of three after many worrisome nights and days from him not being able to talk. Over the past three years, he has worked tirelessly with intense speech therapy to be able to communicate with his peers and family.