Bonnie Brown came to StoryCorps with her teenage daughter, Myra.
Bonnie is intellectually disabled with a low IQ. For the past 18 years she’s worked at the same Wendy’s.
Here, her daughter asks her about being a mom.
Myra is enrolled in gifted and talented classes at her high school. She hopes to attend Cambridge University when she graduates.
Click here for the transcript.
Bonnie Brown (BB): I was very happy, and I was also scared.
MB: Why were you scared?
BB: Because I hadn't ever been pregnant before. I never had really an idea of how to care for a baby.
MB: Did you ever feel like I was too much to handle, like ever?
BB: No. I think because I'm different it might seem hard for me, but I was going to give it all I got no matter what.
MB: When I was a kid, I didn't realize that you were different. And you actually had to tell me because I wasn't figuring it out.
BB: I said to you, I said, "Myra, I know I am not like your friends' mothers, but I'm doing the best I can." And you said, "It's ok, Mommy." And that made me feel so good.
Has my disability affected your life?
MB: I guess--it was third grade, and you had to go in for my parent-teacher conference. And, like as a disclosure, I was like, "My mom's disabled." But the day after the interview, my teacher said that you seemed really intelligent. And that made me feel embarrassed.
MB: Because I kind of felt bad that I had said that and then you had gone and you'd been fine.
BB: No offense taken. You were just giving her a heads up, right?
MB: What's the hardest thing that you have overcome?
BB: Being hurt from people, not physical but just like…
MB: Like emotionally?
BB: Yeah, yeah.
MB: There were times when we would go out, and people would just blatantly stare. And I would say something. I guess I am kind of protective.
BB: I am really thankful because you understand me, and you love me, and you accept me. And … thank you for that.
MB: I don't know, you kind of make it seem like I tolerate you--I love you. You're a good parent and just because you're disabled doesn't mean that you do anything less for me. You want me to succeed.
BB: Yes I do. I want you to make something of yourself.
MB: I want you to know that even though our situation is unique, I'm happy that I am in it, because I am happy that I am with you.
BB: Thank you Myra, and I feel the same way. And I won't never change it for anything in this world.