When Little Miss M was officially diagnosed with Autism at five years old, after countless specialists could not seem to put a name to her difficulties, I mourned the little girl I would not have. I wish I knew then what I know now. The hours and days I wasted mourning and crying for what I thought I lost, I just cannot get them back. So, instead, I gobble up every precious minute I do get.
Most families see taking their eight year old shopping as a chore or as a mundane daily event. I see it as a miracle. Little Miss M walked some and sat in her chair some. She told me when she was tired. She told me when she was nervous. Little Miss M advocated for herself throughout the whole day. She braved a very crowded and loud mall, because she was in control. She teased her Grandmother, appropriately. She smiled and laughed and shared her grand plans for our distant Disney World vacation. It was nothing short of a magical day.
All those years ago, I didn't know that I could still do typical things in our very unique and wonderful way. I am so proud of my girl. She kept it together while out in public. I'm proud of myself, I knew enough to take her to the yogibo store and let her roll around on the beanbag chairs. (Amazing sensory pillows and chairs, we even purchased one.) It was a wonderful day. Little Miss M was amazing and so was our day.
My message today? Don't give up -- experiences and life may not be what you once thought they would be, but they aren't wrong and in fact, they are extremely special.