Autism came to me through my daughter, Summer–a part of her. It took time to understand, process, assimilate. But one thing was certain with autism. I needed to learn how to sideways squint into my daughter’s world, and I found the pathway in through her sunshine smile.
On any given day when Summer smiles, peace floods my heart. When she lights up, it’s as if I’m running through a sunflower field, hair blowing in the breeze, not a worry in the world. And when she laughs, I’m nearly floating, rising to the heavens. So, of course, her smile presented the route to entering her world and feeling its inherent worth, wonder, and whimsy.
In doing so, I merged into her autism as much (if not more) as I guided her into my reality. I celebrated her me-stones (instead of milestones) and her diff-ability (instead of disability). I relished her humor and shared her offbeat playfulness. As a result, my soul grew deeper, wiser. I have never felt more beautiful than I have being her mom.
Today, I invite you to sideways squint into my daughter’s world. Together, we co-created the following pictures with quotes, and I included anecdotes to go along with them.
Smile. Laugh. Skip a heartbeat.
I hope you experience a-running-through-a-sunflower-field moment.
I Honk if You’re Naughty!
Recently, Summer and I were driving and a car almost sideswiped us. Of course, I honked my horn. I am sure it startled her, and hurt her head. But she took it in stride and said with conviction, “Mommy is very very naughty.” I explained to her that I wasn’t naughty. Instead, the person driving the other car was very naughty. She smiled and then said, “I honk if you’re naughty!” We then connected our imaginations and envisioned geese patrolling the roadways, honking each time a driver acted naughty.
Be My Freckle Follower
I am a natural-born ginger and so freckles come along with the territory. Summer has raven hair and only a handful of freckles. Each day she asks me to count her freckles. I do so. If there’s a new freckle I tell her that it hopped from my face to hers. She guesstimates my freckle count, and speaks of one day having one thousand freckles too. She so wants to be my freckle follower.
When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Woman
Summer never ceases to entertain with her words and antics. She holds a particular affinity for my closet and raiding it like a teenager. She puts unlikely pairings together and somehow it resembles high fashion. Stripes with patterns. Offbeat color combinations. Her creativity in the closet spins as endless as her unique imagination.
She also enjoys asking me if she can have all of my clothes, shoes, purses, everything really, “when I’m a woman.”
We hear this catchphrase quite a lot in our home…
Nature is my Second Mom
Summer has always nurtured a deep magical relationship with nature just like her mom. I love to watch her explore, create, play outside in any terrain. Indeed, before she could form words, Mother Nature soothed her, listened to her, connected with her on an obvious spiritual level. This quote may reflect my words. But I know it speaks to Summer’s soul.
The Lights are Off…He’s in Heaven
Last week I wrote about my soul friend, George, who passed away at the age of 98. Summer adored him. As I tried to explain his passing to her, she said, “George’s condo is all done. The lights are off. The door is shut. George went to church. He is in heaven.”
I found her words an insightful and profound way to imagine our physical bodies shutting down and our spirits moving on.
Sometimes life tells you to tilt your head, sideways squint, peer through a new perspective.
Autism brought me this gift.
And Summer’s smile, it arced me into the purest Love.
Celebrate my me-stones not my milestones.
Autism & Me
I have Autism. It is a part of me.
And I am so much more, you see.
A pure soul, a seer,
a gemstone, a creator.
I have Autism. It is part of me.
And I am so much more…
An Autism Mom loves beyond this world, as she fights for understanding of her child’s soulful world.
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Your moments here matter to me. Warm wishes and gratitude…always.