Recently, my family and I flew to Los Angeles for a visit, and my husband and I took our two daughters to visit Disneyland. We brought with us our youngest daughter, Katie, who is 10. Katie has a developmental handicap and can't talk because of brain damage. She is, however, neither quiet nor withdrawn. She is a noisy little girl who loves life and all people. The world is truly her oyster, and what continually amazes me is that Katie always finds pearls. She always grabs your hand to shake it when she meets you and then she starts telling you, in sign language, what it is she's doing -- visiting Mickey Mouse, riding on a bus, etc. And she tells you all about it with a big smile on her face.
The best part of our trip was the people Katie met. Everyone was kind and patient with her: the security people at the airport, the tour bus guide, the two policemen in Hollywood who stopped and showed her what was inside the trunk of their car, the staff and cast members at Disneyland, the staff at our hotel, the waitresses at restaurants and even the people waiting at the airport. I want to thank everyone for the many small acts of kindness shown to my very special daughter.