"Is that your daughter?" asked the girl in the swing next to Joy's. She and her friend, about Rose's age both, had been looking over at Joy, trying to figure out what was up.
"Yes, she is," I said from my seat on a nearby low wall, where I was watching Joy lean from the swing and revel in the gravel and shredded tires, all full of happy-noise.
"She's pretty!" was the next offering.
"Thank you," I responded, with some surprise. "Her name is Joy."
I'd hoped Joy might reply, since she's done well with greetings recently, but she was too wrapped up in the delights of gravel.
"What is she saying?"
"Right now, I think she's saying how much she likes what she's doing..."
"Does she say any words?"
"Sometimes, but sometimes not."
Then the other girl spoke up, somewhat hesitantly.
"Does she have a... disorder?"
Deep breath. "Yes, she does have disabilities. Do you have any friends with disabilities in your class at school?"
Both girls nodded vigorously. "Yes, we do. But we treat them just like normal."
And the next bit of conversation was just like normal -- and then they said, "Bye, Joy" and ran off.
And as they left, Joy said "buh-bye" with a little wave.