People are forever telling me that my daughter, Racheli, who is almost seven years old, is special, and I readily agree. Paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair-bound since infancy, she was at one time in a special school for special kids, on a special bus with a special helper, taking special time during the day to do special exercises. But one quiet evening, I found myself thinking about my daughter and how she’s special in another sense of the word too.

Lessons I Learned From My Daughter

  • You can have a lot of fun, even if you can’t walk.
  • Your body does not define who you are.
  • You don’t have to answer every question.
  • Overlook small slights.
  • Sometimes it's good to cry.
  • Speak gently.
  • Be kind.
  • Look for ways to help others.
  • Be creative.
  • Be strong.
  • There’s a big difference between “impossible” and “hard.”
  • Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and do it.
  • Friends can be any age.
  • Friends like to be given treats.
  • It’s okay to share.
  • Some things are not for sharing.
  • It’s okay to say “no.”
  • Speeding downhill in a wheelchair is fun.
  • Speeding downhill in a wheelchair is dangerous.
  • A leader doesn’t have to be loud.
  • It helps to be pretty.
  • Dress nicely.
  • Respect teachers.
  • Make up songs.
  • Enjoy singing.
  • Thank G‑d for what you have.
  • It’s okay to be the center of attention.
  • Speak calmly to two-year-olds.
  • Have lots of patience.
  • Try.
  • Adapt games.
  • Draw pretty things.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Chocolates can be sucked through to the end.
  • It doesn’t matter if you get wet in the rain.
  • Find ways to cheer yourself up.
  • Anticipate.
  • Pray for others.
  • Want Moshiach to come very soon.
  • Say “thank you” like you mean it.
  • A positive attitude goes a long way.
  • If you make it enjoyable, others will want to join in.
  • If you don’t know what to do, smile.