There are fleeting moments every now and then when I look at CB and think she looks so much like a regular, neurotypical teenager. It usually has to do with the outfit - skinny jeans and boots and a certain style top.
It's in those moments when she stops stimming with her pom poms and her beads, the drool is just wiped from her chin, and a wry smile lights up her face. Then, I see it. I see the parrallel life we might have lived. The life with CB but without the neurological differences.
A mental picture crystalizes for a nanosecond against my better judgement, one where I hear her voice talking to me about a boyfriend or colleges or begging for a new cell phone. No more than a single moment, then the glimpse is gone.
Those little moments used to cause me heartache. Now they leave a wistful smile on my face.
Over time, I find that there is less mourning for all that might have been, and more knowing that maybe nothing has been missed or stolen.
Maybe everything is exactly as it ought to be.