Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Good Stuff

I am sure when people hear of a child being diagnosed with autism, they immediately think of all the negative aspects.  They may think of the limitations, the trials and tribulations, the long term difficulties that will arise.  I don't want to talk about any of that right now.  You can find a million books, magazine articles and celebrities that will tell you all about how hard autism is.  On a different day, I can tell you all about all of that and more. 

Autism is hard, but right now, I want to tell you about "the good stuff".  Because my Katie has autism, her heart has never been broken.  Not by a boy, not by a friend, and not by her parents.  She doesn't understand sarcasm, so she is never hurt by it.  She doesn't understand rejection, so she has never felt it's sting.  She doesn't know if people are laughing at her when she dances, so she dances like she has the whole world on a string.  She doesn't know that she is singing off key, so she sings at the top of her lungs and her heart sings too.  She doesn't know what her future holds, so she thinks she can do anything that she wants to.  How wonderful does that sound?  She belives in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, she believes in the Easter Bunny, and she believes in God.  She sways back and forth in the pews at church and sings to her Lord like it was just between her and Him.  She will always have her sisters watching out for her, she will always have her parents to provide for her and to protect her.  She has grandparents that dote on her, uncles, aunts and cousins that are crazy about her, and former teachers that miss her so very much.  She has new friends in her new middle school that accept her for who she is, and are proud to call her a friend.  Her only worries in life are about planning the next party, and when is her next meal.  She isn't too embarrassed to still watch Barney, or love Mickey Mouse.  She will never be "too cool" to give her mom a kiss good-bye, or too big to climb in her daddy's lap.  Although she wants a cell phone and a lap top, she only wants them to play with, and not because she feels that everyone has one but her.  She loves to dress up, but doesn't worry that her hoodie is from "last year", or that her tennis shoes are the kind without laces. 

If I live to be 100 years old, and I have traveled to all the places I have dreamed of, seen all of the wonders that I want to see, have a multitude of grandchildren that adore me, and money to spend on them, I will never be as happy as Katie is every day of her life.  Simple, innocent happiness. Sometimes my adventures in autism shows me that there is some "good stuff" about it that the rest of us will never have.

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