As a child, I was never the one who fit in seamlessly with my surroundings, but it never mattered to me. My parents never pressured me to play the same sports as the popular girls, to wear lipstick in high school, to choose a major in college that would make me money (admittedly, my father did try to suggest an MBA, but he dropped that suggestion rather quickly after I gave him one of my infamous dirty looks). They loved me even if I did read the Encyclopedia for fun.

My oldest son is a little different than most. He’s been given incredible gifts: he can play music by ear, he can read chapter books, he can compute simple algebra equations. He is only five years old.

Along with his talents, his incredible enthusiasm, and his beautiful singing voice comes a bit of social awkwardness, sensitivity to sound and surroundings, and difficulty making friends his own age. Many terms have come our way in the past few months: Aspergers, Autism, and the like. It doesn’t matter to us what label he receives: we will make sure he knows that being different is a beautiful thing.