I can't always put my finger on what it is that aches in me.
Until someone does something that fills the tender place that usually holds a void.
Something that floats out of reach, like a dandelion clock holding an unanswered wish.
This is not about validation of me and the
inflated sense of heroism others ascribe to me when
I've done nothing more special than love a child.
This is not about praise for the "extra-ness" that having a child with significant special needs
brings to the experience of parenthood.
It's about acknowledgement of my daughter.
Several months ago, I experienced something rather rare.
It knocked my emotions around a bit and I scrambled to make sense of
why such a pedestrian act held so much meaning in its palm.
My sister-in-law's mother, who has only met CB on a few occasions,
passed along a small, inexpensive gift.
While shopping for her new granddaughter in a baby store,
she had seen something she thought CB would like.
A simple gesture, yet I was completely disarmed.
Because in almost 17 years of motherhood,
most of the caring acts, comments and focus from others is typically on me;
The mother of the little girl (now young lady)
who doesn't talk, who sits and stims, who can't manage her self-care.
In one small but meaningful gesture, someone thought of her
for no particular occasion or reason.
A simple act of acknowledgment.
Acknowledging that CB is just a kid,
deserving to be seen
to be considered
to be noticed
despite all the Autistic walls surrounding her like a fortress.
That she, just like my other three "typical" girls,
It's something I would have never noticed as missing
until the simple act of acknowledging
suffered my heart
as it filled it.