Last week, Frankie and I were walking down the street when she stopped. She saw a crispy brown leaf and she stomped on it, squarely and deliberately. She was clearly delighted by the audible crunch.

A woman was approaching from the opposite direction. A huge smile spread across her face as she passed by us and said “Smart!” It wasn’t something I would’ve considered “smart” for a 2.5 year old. Funny? Silly? Maybe. Beastly? Probably! But this woman made me look at it differently.

There was no way she could’ve seen Frankie’s face through her curtain of blond hair and I bet she didn’t know she has an intellectual disability. She simply watched a toddler exploring her world, testing principals of cause and effect, experiencing her own moment of joy in completing the simplest of tasks.

When Frankie looked up she was beaming and it got me. It is *always* amazing to watch someone learning, to watch your child “figure it out” or to watch them reach that next level. No matter her age, no matter the milestone. I am proud of her every day.