|Sweet Girl, Ms. Wellen (also some kind of special),|
and Ms. Brown
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
You already know that Sweet Girl is special. All God's children are special, but Sweet Girl is mine and so she is special. And then you add autism on top of that. And Sweet Girl becomes some kind of special. She is a singing, scripting, constantly moving, loud, mostly happy, princess of a whirling dervish of special. I know this. (And I'm throwing it out there that I feel the same way about Little Man. It's just that this is another post about his sister, so he's going to have to wait. Which is not really his thing, but his day will come. Promise.) Everyday I see her and I know this. Even through the exasperating ugly-kind-of-bad days, I know she is some kind of special that doesn't happen all that often. She is special because of what lies within her - all that giggly, bouncy, kind, and musical sparkle that is her make up - and because of the external forces working to help her let that inside sparkle out.
This past week, Sweet Girl was promoted from Junior Kindergarten to Kindergarten. She had completed the year and would be moving up the educational food chain. This year has brought some great things for Sweet Girl. She is reading, writing (neat handwriting is still a few years away), and doing simple mathematical concepts. These are things I wasn't sure she would ever be able to do. As her mother, I felt she was smart but communication is a challenge for Sweet Girl. She processes at a different speed and in an entirely different manner. School would not always be able to embrace or even understand that special part of Sweet Girl. Fortunately, that worry lies (mostly) behind us. Sweet Girl had Ms. S. as a pre-school teacher. Ms. S. helped Sweet Girl understand the routine of school and how to deal with all the BIG emotions that go along with going to school. Ms. S. did all of that while seeing Sweet Girl's potential. A teacher like that is some kind of special.
Once we got used to the routine with Ms. S. it was time to move. Then I went back to work. That's a lot of change to take in. Sweet Girl would need to face a new world of faces, expectations, schedules, and she would be going into a classroom that had no services set up for special kids like Sweet Girl. I was worried. Well, really I was terrified. But then Sweet Girl met Ms. Brown. And Ms. Brown was really nice. And even though Sweet Girl was anxious, Ms. Brown worked her through it. When the other students were curious about their classmate's differences, Ms. Brown came to me so she could make it better for Sweet Girl; she wanted to help above and beyond what was required of her. I hated that conversation when it happened, but I will always love Ms. Brown because she didn't let the differences make my girl an outcast. Ms. Brown is some kind of special because she knew Sweet Girl is different, not less.
We have a lot that lies ahead of us; increasing academic expectations, stressful social situations, the dentist. Again, I am terrified. Fortunately, there are a lot of people who are willing to help us navigate the scary terrain. There are family members and friends. They are some kind of special because they understand. They understand that this life here (this life with all the special) is not the norm while also being as valid and valued as the norm. There are speech therapists, occupational therapists, BCBAs, and a whole host of others who are some kind of special because they choose to work with other people's special. The waiting rooms of every therapy office display the myriad kind of special that requires a bit more help than others, and the people working there choose to help as their way of life. That's definitely some kind of special. When I think of all the people who helped Sweet Girl be able to participate in the JK promotion (I wish I knew how to blur out other children's faces in videos so I could post a video here - they're lovely children but I don't have permission to put them up on the Interwebz), I feel blessed. When I think of how being Sweet Girl's mom has made me smile brighter; made my eyes leaky; made my heart swell to fill up hollows I didn't know where there; made me better, I feel more than blessed. I feel some kind of special.
This song is Sweet Girl's favorite. They sang
it at the JK promotion. It was some kind of special.