Pass the tissues.

By Blake Bakkila
Updated January 08, 2020
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A typical Target shopping trip ended with one mom in tears—for the best possible reason.

That's what mother of three Jamie Sumner wrote in an essay on Wednesday for the website Her View From Home. In her post, Sumner said she was browsing the aisles with her six-year-old son Charlie, who has cerebral palsy. The mother-son duo noticed a Cat & Jack advertisement of a young boy with a walker.

“I watched Charlie watch the sign,” Sumner wrote. “I watched the recognition of kin for kin, like for like. And it was beautiful. Yes, I started crying in the aisle.”

For Sumner, this was so much more than an ad for a trendy pair of little kid camo pants. This inclusive ad was uplifting and validating for both her and her little one.

“We took our time in the toy aisle that day and we made three trips past the sign so Charlie could wave at it,” she wrote. “It sounds like such a small thing, but for us it is a nod from the world that we are being acknowledge and supported.”

Sumner, who recently published a book called Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood, tells Health why she decided to tell her story.

“The reason I first posted that picture on Instagram was purely for me and Charlie,” she says. “It was a celebration of this sweet moment when he felt included.”

Her post was shared widely, and soon, so many people had heard about her experience that “it just exploded,” she says. “People were so very excited for us and for all the other kids finally finding their own abilities and special needs reflected in places like Target.”