Where everyone belongs.
That’s the dream. That’s the hope. That’s the space and the community and the future we long for.
Sometimes we catch glimpses of it.
Penny and I took an intentional detour after a doctor’s appointment a few days ago to visit BeanZ and Co., a coffee shop and cafe in Avon, CT that a few people had mentioned to me over the past few years. Penny is seventeen now, so we have started talking with her about finding a summer job and about the type of work she might want to do in the future.
So we stopped for lunch. The cafe was bright and open (sorry I didn’t take photos inside, but you can find more on the website and Instagram page!). The food was delicious. And at 2:30pm, thirty minutes before closing, half the tables were still full. Business, on a snowy Wednesday afternoon, seemed to be going well.
We talked with Kim, co-owner and co-founder of the company, who has a daughter with Down syndrome. At one point in the conversation, Kim said to Penny, “I would hire you in a heartbeat.” And those were the words Penny remembered hours later when she told Peter all about the afternoon.
I would hire you in a heartbeat.
I don’t know whether Penny will get a chance to work at BeanZ and Co., but I do know that we are grateful for this little signpost that points towards the possibility of a world in which everyone contributes, everyone is seen and valued, and everyone belongs.
More with Amy Julia:
- Book: A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
- Free Resource: Missing Out on Beautiful: Growing Up With a Child With Down Syndrome
- Disability and Respect: Look Her in the Eye
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