Monday, 9. January 2012 16:06
My friend, Lizbeth, meme’d me with a Sunshine Award. This is ironic for two reasons. 1) She, and my other Autism Mama/Daddy Posse (is it still cool to use the word “Posse”?) bring a lot of rays this direction and I’m so very grateful. [End Sappy Scene]. 2) I’m a GoGo. Or a Bangle. Whichever girl group walked on Sunshine in the 80s. Yep. 2012 is the year for walkin’ on Sunshine at our house.
In the last year, since our family participated in an intense, two-week, parent training course for kids with Autism, the changes we have seen have been amazing. The most life-changing strides occurred at Christmas. I feel like Cindy Brady the year Santa granted her Christmas wish for Carol’s voice to return in time to sing. Better even.
Ellie is looking at us and smiling. SMILING. Most people remember the first smile at four or six weeks, but the one at four years was brighter than anything I’ve ever seen. She made connections with extended family. Real connections. During all previous holiday visits, Ellie was an additional layer of epidermis on my torso. It was painful to watch her pain. There was too much noise, too much unpredictable behavior from others, and dogs. The dogs were the icing on the cake of unpredictability. It was difficult to participate in the joy of the season when Ellie was anything but joyful.
This year, she joined her little cousin in playing with her wonderful, teddy bear of an uncle who loves to get down on the floor and be a big kid himself. She JOINED. She also chose to engage both Grandpas and was a true little buddy. She followed them around, showed them her favorite books, and if they thought about leaving the room, she interrogated them about the precise moment of their return. She talked to me about them as if they were the best invention in the world and forlornly told me she missed them when we returned home. SHE MISSES THEM. Oh, and she’s playing with toys. TOYS. On her own, she is initiating play.
AND. If all of that weren’t enough, for the first time in her little life, she is happy. There is true peace, harmony, and laughter exuding from this little girl where fear and anxiety previously gripped her. This is truly the year of walkin’ on sunshine. And breathing. Oh, how I’ve missed breathing.
So, part of the Sunshine Award involves answering some questions. They are, as follows:
Those who enjoy basking in sunshine.
8. That is how many letters are in “sunshine”.
Whiskey. It makes me feel warm. Like SUNSHINE.
Facebook or Twitter?
I can’t commit to either. I’m tepid on both.
Crocheting. I’m currently making the sunshine a cowl.
Giving or getting presents?
I enjoy both equally.
SUNday. Actually Friday, but did you seriously expect a different response given the topic?
Hostas, which oddly, prefer shade.