She was 6 years old but she wanted to be older so she could read and write and do things. The world, at times, seemed so confusing to her but everyone else seemed to have no trouble at all. For instance, how painfully difficult it was for her to learn to tie her shoe laces. She did learn but did it her way not the way everyone else did it. When eating a meal she noticed everyone used the other hand. She tried to do it their way but it felt terrible and food spilled all over the place.
One day she pretended to be reading a book. She thought she was doing it quite correctly, taking care and reaching out to the left page and turning it. Her brother was watching and laughed out loud. “That’s not how you read a book. You’re turning the pages backwards.” She put the book down and picked up a pencil and paper and ever so carefully wrote neat, beautiful loops from the right side of the page to the left. She held it up for her brother to see and said, “I can write just the way you do.” He laughed even harder and said that’s not how you write. You write like this.” He then took the pencil and wrote on the paper from left to right. She grabbed the paper, ran to the kitchen and complained to her mother about everything that her brother had told her. (You have to understand that her brother never missed an opportunity to tease her and she really thought this was one of those times.) Her mother was sympathetic but told her that her brother was right. “You read a book turning the pages from the right side to the left and you write starting at the left side of a page.” Again she was different.
Shortly after these events her friend Donna invited her to play and stay for lunch. Donna lived just behind her house and they had great fun together. She went over and they played the whole morning long. Just before lunch Donna’s grandfather who was living with the family came into the hallway. He was very tall and had a little hat on his head. He walked over to a stand in the hall which held a very large book. He put a long scarf around his neck, sat down and opened the huge book. The book was not like any book she had ever seen. It wasn’t just the size but the black print was different and then there were the parts of each page that were gold and colorful.
She was shy but she couldn’t help herself. She wanted to see this beautiful book and what was going to happen. She crept forward a little bit at a time. Donna’s grandfather reached out and patted her on the back and she knew then that if she were very quiet she could stay and watch. Donna’s grandfather reached out with his right hand and pointed at the black print. With his finger he started at the right side and moved left. Then he very carefully picked up the left page and turned it to the right. She stood for a long time watching every movement. Something settled deep inside her. Somewhere, somehow there were others in the world. She was not alone.
Donna’s mother called them for lunch. It was delicious and there was chocolate pudding for dessert which she had never tasted. She ran home and exclaimed to her mother, “ I was born into the wrong family. They read their books the way I want to and they have chocolate pudding for dessert.”
They had lots of chocolate pudding for dessert from then on.