I am a big fan of Peter H. Reynolds and think he creates amazing stories with meaningful life lessons. I wanted to read more of his books, so we recently read I’m Here. It’s about a boy that is overwhelmed by the noise of the kids playing together and instead chooses to sit alone. Alone, he goes on an imaginary ride on a paper airplane, dipping low enough for the children to help launch him back into the sky. When his plane lands, a girl brings it over to him. She smiles and is willing to just be “here” with him, where he is at. When it was over, we talked about how some people can’t handle the noise and busyness of groups and my daughter brought up sensory issues and autism. Later, I read that this story was actually written to encourage people to embrace children on the autism spectrum and anyone that may be different. This isn’t one of my favorite Peter H. Reynolds books, but the message of diversity is a beautiful and valuable one. I think it’s important to talk to kids about how brains can be diverse too and if you want to be a good friend to someone, you should meet them where they are at. Find what you can do together that both of you feel comfortable with. Sometimes that can be coloring silently together or reading them a book. To be a true friend, we need to accept and embrace people for the individuals they are.