Saturday, February 25, 2012

Acknowledging



I can't always put my finger on what it is that aches in me.  
Until... 
Until someone does something that fills the tender place that usually holds a void.    

Acknowledgment.  

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, 
is here.    

It's something I would have never noticed as missing
until the simple act of acknowledging
simultaneously
suffered my heart 
as it filled it.  

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh, yes. These small moments of acknowledgement are huge. I can count them on two hands -- and tell you reams about each one.

kario said...

Oh.
This is so simple and so profound and so lovely. I hope that the gift-giver knows how much she touched you and I hope you know how much this poem touched me.

Alicia (Dr. Mom) said...

thank you guys and thank you for NOT commenting my 2 major typos in this post that i just corrected! obviously, had too much wine and blogging too late in the evening :) All fixed now! :)

Kim said...

I'm so glad you found your way back to blogging. This is beautifully written and profound.

Becca said...

That really is lovely.

I hope it's not too personal but what was the small gift that CB got - and was your friend right, does she like it?

Alicia (Dr. Mom) said...

hi becca,
the gift was actually a baby toy (which CB loves). they were little links that could be put together to form a chain. CB loves "stimming" with beads, so she liked having something to stim with. Such a small thing, i know, but sometimes its the small gestures that carry the most meaning...

thanks for reading :)

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