She’ll Be a Great Bagger One Day

Is what the cashier at my grocery store said to me this morning as I was paying for my food while Brooke babbled in her seat…

With that one sentence I almost jumped out of my own skin and nearly throttled that woman…

Although Brooke has many people that love her and a huge support system of friends and family I constantly feel like the general public underestimate her.

A bagger.

Why is that the first thing that people think when we I discuss Brooke’s future?

What is it about this child’s face that screams “Paper or plastic?”?

Do people see almond shaped eyes and automatically assume she can’t do anything else?

Because we don’t assume that.

We don’t assume that Brooke will automatically wear the polyester pinny while bagging boxes of mac n cheese carefully so as not to smoosh your bread.

We assume that Brooke will live her life to its fullest potential and be a happy and contributing member of society…

That may mean she goes to college, or to some sort of trade school, or maybe she will live in a group home and bag groceries…

But if she does bag groceries, you can bet your ass Brooke is going to be the best damn bagger you’ve ever seen, and not only that, but she’ll be bagging your apples and strawberries on her terms, because she wants to be there…

Because it’s what makes her happy.

Which is all Eric and I want for her, just like what we want for all of our children…

All of that went through my head in the 3.2 seconds I was seething at the cashier before she said…

Just look at the way she’s paying attention! You can tell she’s so smart and has an amazing attention span.

Okay, so maybe I jumped the gun a little bit on her original statement…

Or maybe she still think Brooke won’t amount to much other than a bagger when she’s grown up…

And with that last sentence typed, I schedule this post with tears streaming down my cheeks, because I don’t know what to think of her words, or how to convince the world at large how much more Brooke actually is…

Brooke is amazing…

Just remember that…



  1. Oh hon. I love you. And Brooke. I can see Brooke moving mountains. Like she already does. And you know she can kick Astrid’s ass. I love you. Did I say that already? xoxo
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  2. Jayme says:

    Oh Holly. Some people are so ignorant. What would even possess someone to say that? Brooke is going to be amazing…heck, she already is! That. lady is lucky you didnt bitch slap her. I would have.
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    • holly says:

      I don’t even think she realized how hurtful her comment was…and if I wasn’t so shocked and holding back tears I would have corrected her via foot in the face…

  3. Carrie says:

    Brooke is an amazing and beautiful little girl, she can be Miss America if she wants, because she has parents that support her and want her to be happy
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  4. Deanna says:

    So true! Great post, Holly! And seriously, you need to post more pictures of Brooke because that babe is gorgeous!!!!
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  5. Anna Theurer says:

    Wow. just wow. If someone said that to me I would go all slack jaw with my mouth opening and closing and no sound coming out. Just from the shock of it. You have it right, Holly. Do not set limits. Do not assume. Brooke is a rock star. IF Brooke WANTS to be a grocery bagger, she will be the best (next to Ellie of course, if Ellie DECIDES goes into that field) bagger there is!
    Anna Theurer recently posted..Flaunt it, babyMy Profile

  6. Don’t worry Holly! This new age of special needs momma’s is a whole different breed! We aren’t hiding our kids away, hoping we can get through the day without anyone seeing or making comments. We are putting our kids out there. They are going to school, and they are on TV and in magazines! Soon the world will see them how we see them. It just takes a little time, but I’m already noticing a difference!
    But those ignorant comments always sting, and they will always hurt our hearts!
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    • holly says:

      you are so right…I just have to remember that…and it is older people more often that tend to say comments like that…but really, when they were younger our kids were put into institutions so who can really blame them for not knowing any better?

  7. Becca says:

    Wow, just WOW. I’m not sure what to make of her words, either. But you’re absolutely right, as long as our kids are happy, doing what *makes* them happy, bagging is perfectly fine by me. But I think her judgement was a bit skewed, her foot directly planted in her mouth. And sadly, she probably doesn’t even realize it. Brooke is one beautiful little kiddo…I think modeling is more in her future… :-)
    Becca recently posted..Samantha and the DentistMy Profile

  8. stacy says:

    maybe she didn’t mean a job as a bagger? just a grown up who bags her groceries? after all ideally that job would be close to obselete as most people should be bagging there own stuff unless of course you are there with a lot of kids distracting you. i recently had a cashier tell me i was a horrible bagger though i was a cashier and bagger for so many years! awkward attempt at making conversation maybe.

  9. Gary Bender says:

    Oh yes….the unaware majority strikes again…Goes with the extra chromosome. Someday when are kids change the world could we hope for an unaware minority? :)
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  10. Leah says:

    I doubt she meant anything by it. They say that to a lot of children so I doubt she meant it as a demeaning thing to say. Think of it like this…she works there. This is her job and she is probably extremely happy doing what she does. So to her to say someone would make a great bagger would not be an insult but rather she recognizes that Brooke is intelligent and capable of working with the general public just like you or I (just like what she is doing currently) and finds no fault in general hard work. My niece (who is 5) has nothing outwardly that can be recognized as abnormal and she still is told things like that. So it’s probably just general patronizing from grown ups to children. Brooke is fine, you’re fine. Rock on, mama bear.

    • holly says:

      you could be absolutely right, us Ds mamas just tend to jump to conclusions after statements like that because there have been so many people that assume my daughter will nothing but a burden on society…

  11. Joy Andrews says:

    I’m not sure how to say this without sounding uppity, but the person who made the comment was a cashier…and may be very happy working in a grocery store, which means that she was truly paying your daughter a compliment by NOT assuming that she won’t be contributing. And by her statement, she was indicating that your daughter was good enough to fit into her world. I don’t know…you could have been right with your early reaction too. Regardless, Brooke is lucky to have a mama who believes in her and wants to go to bat for her. Keep bashing those stereotypes for Brooke and all the other kiddos that deserve the very best that life has to offer them, and who deserve to offer their best to the world.
    Joy Andrews recently posted..9/25/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – Broken hearts really do mendMy Profile

    • holly says:

      and you may be 100% correct….it’s so hard for me not to jump to conclusions like that when there have been times when people have said point blank that a job like that is all Brooke will ever be able to do…but I truly don’t know what was in that woman’s heart which is why I didn’t jump down her throat!

  12. Cara says:

    Holly I hate to think of you crying. It’ s so sad you need to wonder about peoples intentions when they talk about your daughter. I truly hope the cashier really didn’t mean to be condescending. Brooke is a beautiful little girl and if she has half of her mother’s wit and determination she will go very far in life. Love reading all your posts!

  13. Trasina McGahey says:

    When I first read this my very first thought was you may be a little sensitive and see something that the cashier just did not mean to imply. Maybe she has said the exact same thing to 100 different kids. You never know! I bet the manager of the store started out as a bagger :)

  14. aimee says:

    I don’t know you but your daughter is beautiful… and she’ll grow up and be beautiful at whatever she wants to be no matter what people think.
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  15. Nolie says:

    WTF was that cashier thinking. I see a beautiful little girl and that is it. I would have torn her a new one then loudly demanded a manager. I am so sorry.
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  16. Robbie says:

    I am so sorry her comment brought you to tears. ((hugs))

    Without being inside her head, its hard to know what the cashier mean. Quite honestly it sounds like she meant it as a compliment. That she is focused and pays attention…those are valuable skills to have.
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  17. Chris Carter says:

    Judgement sucks. My kid has suffered with asthma all her life and I get more comments and looks and I want to scream “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!” She pulled all her hair out when she was a toddler because she was so sick all the time…and everyone stared at her and often asked if she had cancer… Judgement sucks.
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  18. Alison says:

    She is amazing, of course she is. And so are you. xo
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  19. I hate that moment, when you are too stunned to speak what clearly needed to be said. So grateful you are showing the world through your blog. Brooke is so beautiful and you are an amazing mom to her. Even from pictures, you can tell hat girl has more life and sass in her than most people! Love it. Off to share this!!
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  20. Tiffany says:

    I’ve had those moments…where you just want to punch them in the throat…and where you want to scream that your child is SO. MUCH. MORE. Hugs to you and to Brooke. She’s kick ass.
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  21. Wayne says:

    I would have assumed she meant as a high school job…I guess there are many different ways to look at the world. I have an special needs child myself and people say things but it is out of lack of knowledge most of the time rather than out of malice. Hope this wasn’t too traumatic on you.
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  22. Shell says:

    That lady spoke without thinking. I know careless remarks still hurt, but remember that she doesn’t know your gorgeous and smart Brooke. xo
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  23. adrienne says:

    Oh, girl! That 3.2 seconds was a long time. I bet that lady didn’t think anything of her statement. This was a beautiful post! Are you taking these pictures, b/c they are gorgeous!!
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  24. Oh wow. Way to insert foot into mouth for the cashier. Perhaps they employ the special needs community and that is the typical job they give them, which is still bullcrap in my book. I think with more mom’s and dads like you guys out there we can change societies ideals. REmember it wasn’t that long ago that societies answer was to institutionalize them away from the public completely. We have made great strides just not big enough ones sometimes.
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  25. Misha says:

    Well, all I can say is that I love the way you are bringing her up:) She will definitely be a wonderful citizen one day. Tell people to give her some time. And don’t get hurt by the way other people remark or gaze at her. Because that’s the way they are. If you can’t change them, just ignore them. They don’t matter anyway.
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  26. What a rude piece of work that woman is. She is so ignorant that she doesn’t even realize just how rude she was. You are stronger than I, because I would have knocked that womans teeth in.
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  27. Kristen says:

    This picture of Brooke is absolutely beautiful. Even through the lens of a camera you can see that this little girl is going to grow into someone amazing…because there is so much love and devotion from the person taking the photo. She’s growing up in a house full of love and support. She WILL move mountains!
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  28. She will be amazing- whatever it is she does!
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  29. This gets my goat! I hate this kind of prejudice…the kind in which the other person thinks they are being kind and understanding.

    Brooke is and will continue to be amazing because her parents will make sure she always knows it!
    Single Mom in the South recently posted..A Gift Amongst the SadnessMy Profile

  30. Molly says:

    Oh hell to the no, she did not just pigeonhole your kid. If that’s what SHE wants to do one day, then mazel tov, and I bet she’d rock it. If it’s not, sky’s the limit baby girl!
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  31. With you as her Momma, how can she be anything but amazing!!
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  32. Sela Toki says:

    An angel, that’s what Brooke is. So pure and beautiful. You got me teary with this one. Normally I enter expecting to roll in laughter. But that picture of your Brooke just touches my heart. She is and will always be spectacular in whatever she chooses to do.
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  33. Boobies says:

    You’re damn right!
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