Monday, April 16, 2012
Day One of weekday vacation week. After yesterday's crying, I acted proactively this morning to try to keep the day from being lost. It's super hot here, almost 90, so before that struck completely, I took Janey outside for a long time. Generally, she loves being outside, and she did today, thankfully.
What I love about seeing her outside is how much she reminds me of myself at her age and up. One of the things I think I miss in having an autistic daughter is the chance to relive parts of my childhood (some of the parts I DO NOT miss reliving). But when it comes to playing outside, Janey and I are very much alike. I spent huge parts of my childhood outdoors. Not involved in sports or anything organized, just exploring and enjoying myself looking around. I grew up in rural coastal Maine, which I know realize is probably the best place on earth for that kind of childhood. Both the shore and the woods were within a fourth mile of my house. Janey has only an urban backyard, a sloped and not great one, but okay sized for the city. But she interacts with it as I once did with my big outdoor world. She looks at rocks, sticks, plants, bugs, birds, butterflies. She digs in dirt. She plays in water (but hers has to come out of an outdoor tap) She goes barefoot, as I always did, even when walking through the woods. She talks to herself, as I often did (inside my head once I realized the outside the head talking looked odd, but I think at seven I might not have realized that yet) She examines her shadow. She dances around. She lies down and just looks at the sky. I feel so happy watching her. It's something she can do without there being a level she must do it at. Words aren't necessary. Birds scold her from the trees for being close to their nests just as they would to a "normal" kid. They have no idea she isn't, and for the time she is outdoors, she isn't. They see her just as a human being, and she is.