This evening's plans included picking up my sister from the airport. As the flight was late, I posted a message on Facebook asking if any of my Tampa friends wanted to meet up for dinner. I have quite a few friends from my tenure with Disney and a couple from other employers, and even a few from USF, that it seemed likely one would be free. A message arrived from a favorite cast member, one who has never lost touch with her inner child.
She's a mom now, and plans included her adorable little girl, so we opted for a pizza place I found on Urban Spoon (review coming). While we interact somewhat regularly on Facebook, it was especially nice to get to catch up on more of life. That little girl, a divorce in progress, her return to school, a new job. We talked about my studies as well, and that she's planning on becoming a teacher.
Her little girl faced some challenges a year ago that resulted in some early intervention and she has made tremendous progress, to the point that she was a very happy and engaged almost 3 year old in front of me. The experience of advocating for her child fueled her desire to become a special education teacher for early elementary. It is a good fit for her-she has patience and a sense of humor that serve one well in that setting. Even better, she has the experience of 'something isn't right here, and I'm not going to rest until this is fixed."
We talked about that quality, that she will find many others in special education who are touched by a child, cousin, nephew/niece, neighbor, who made an impact on their life to the point that they make it their life's work. It was really cool to spend a couple of hours catching up and to see her love for her daughter-and how that inspires her to spend time with other children like her.
So glad that I asked for dining company and was nourished with more than the food in front of me...