"My girl, she's tremendous."

"My girl, she's tremendous."

This beautiful girl is JoLynn.

She has Williams Syndrome, and "has a special way of bringing people into her World," as her Mom explains below....

"At the tender age of 10 months, JoLynn is persistent, determined, and aggressively friendly. The books on baby milestones tell you that at her age, "stranger danger" starts to emerge - which may be true, but apparently in Jo's world, nobody is a stranger.

As we went about our errands today, I watched her engage with every person we encountered from waiting rooms to queues to street corners. She talked to people I would have ignored, or not seen, or not known how to approach.

She played peek a boo with the Deaf man in the elevator, the Bahamian pharmacist let her play with his dreadlocks, she delighted the group of Cuban abuelas at the valet stand with her grins, she lit up Walgreens with her giggles when the veteran spun circles around her in his wheelchair, she even won over the disgruntled parking attendant who shook his head at me, fighting a smile and saying "tremenda, tu nena".

I agree with him - my girl, she's tremendous.

Jo has a special way of bringing people into her world. And as a result, she brings them into mine, too - people who I would not have seen, manifestations of the beautiful diversity of my city that I would have missed.

In a time wrought with intolerance and division, I've seen a lot of concern about the next generation. For parents, among the many questions heavy on our hearts is this - how do we teach our children to accept, celebrate, defend difference when our leaders teach them to fear it?

Although many even bigger questions remain, that one was lifted from my shoulders today. Today I learned that my little girl, who is herself a vibrant new thread in the fabric of human diversity, will be the teacher."

JoLynn's journey is teaching others.

- @jennajean16


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