Why Our Daughter With Autism Is Everything We Dreamed She’d Be and More
We loved you long before we ever knew you. From those early wishes and hopes for what your untold future would be, to the first beats of your heart and kicks of your feet. We made plans for you, aspiring deeply to paint a picture hand-over-hand of the future you would have, one as beautiful as the love we felt for you.
We read to you every night as you nestled deep inside my womb, uncertain if you could even hear us, but believing that you could. As we lifted the words off the page we let them be your story, written by another, but told by our hearts. We allowed ourselves to think you owned them as if they were meant for you.
We engraved those words upon your baby blanket so when you made your entrance into this world we could wrap you in their warmth and familiarity. We folded you tightly like a package, the visible corner underneath your Heaven-made face read:
Gaze at the stars,
and watch the moon rise.
Each day there are miracles,
in front of our eyes.
Dance to the music,
and sing like the birds.
Let stories and books,
bring the magic of words.
Enjoy friendship and laughter,
your whole life through,
and the love that we feel,
as we welcome you.
My Little Miracle by J. Beck and J. Croydon
We watched you grow, and it was ever clear you marched to the beat of your own drummer. You did things your own way, in your own time and within your own expectations. There was never a dull moment within your presence. You lit up each room you entered like the Fourth of July, all eyes on you, everyone else taking a back seat. There were days we feared you would fly so high you would never come back down.
We worried when they said the you that was so special and yet so hard to read, had autism. What would that mean for all the things we wished for you? Would all of our dreams for you now be just out of reach enough to make us ache?
We watch you grow now with this invisible label you wear upon your sleeve, always shedding your layers to reveal what’s underneath — the raw, take-all-or-take-nothing you. You are this amazing force inside a pint-sized body, a constant tangle of knots we’re trying to undo. You refuse to be unwound.
We’ve overflowed with joy as you have checked off each of the dreams we had for you, one by one without even knowing it. You just love looking at the stars. You take in everything like it’s art; the sky to you is like a giant canvas, the stars small specks of paint. Music moves you, your body constantly moving to a silent symphony that plays only for you. You’ve loved books since you could hold one. The first thing we learned you loved to do was count words and letters. When you were 4 years old you told me there were 12,052 Z’s in Daddy’s chapter book. You were so proud of yourself. Words are definitely your magic, and boy do you love to laugh. Your laughter echoes through our home and down the street. It’ss impossible not to join in.
We know you will always be uniquely you, and that is just fine. You’ve paved the way, so just continue to lead us behind you, sweet love. We didn’t even know what we wanted until we got it. It’s funny how life works out that way.
Today I realized my heart couldn’t be any more full when you approached me to give me a card you had made. You told me you had been reading your baby blanket every day and that you wanted to write me back a letter to tell me how you felt. Before I even read it I felt my emotions take away my words, no matter what your feelings were; just knowing you were willing and able to share them with me was more than I could ask for. What it said was far more than anything I could have expected:
I am really glad that you are my Mommy.
I love you so so much.
No matter where you are I will always love you.
We know you feel loved. You my love are our little miracle.
This post originally appeared on Learning to Let Go: A Different Dream for Us.
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