Looking into the Future

We chatted today. I was the mom next to you in the neurologists office with the two redheaded girls. 

Even if my girls weren’t loud and imposing in small spaces, I’m sure you would still remember us.

I saw you watching them as you nervously waited for your appointment. 

And after seeing your beautiful little girl, I’m pretty sure we share more than a love of Wawa frozen cappuccinos. 

As your little lady sat on the floor with her kindle, I’m guessing I saw more than most moms would in this short of time. 

I saw she was playing the same video over and over.

I noticed her gently rocking the entire time and barely looked up from her kindle. Even when my girls practically stepped on her and you asked her if she wanted a drink. 

Most moms would probably see her and see a well behaved kid. But I see her through the eyes of a mom who had two little ladies just like her.  

Both my ladies were a lot like her at that age.  

They barely noticed other people. They had little interest in kids around them.

They didn’t point out things to me or demand my constant attention. 

Simply put they just wanted to stay in their own world.  

And I saw the way you watched my girls. 

Especially my Claudia who paced in a circle and kept yelling out phrases from Dora the Explorer. 

You may have thought it was really weird she spoke Spanish when I clearly do not.

You were kind when Keira asked you your name and how to spell it.  I stepped in before she could ask your age and where you live.  

You commented  how beautiful they are and how much you loved their Skechers.  I’m guessing you saw more than that too.

I really wish we had more time to chat.  

I’m not sure how you felt about what you saw.  I’m not sure if seeing Claudia scared you.

A 15 year old essentially acting like a loud toddler in this small room.

Unable to sit still.  Unable to go unnoticed by anyone.

Beyond all these behaviors could you see her big smile and pure innocence? 

What about your interaction with Keira?  

Her autism isn’t as obvious at a glance. But I’m sure you know most 13 year olds don’t approach strangers with a need to know their names. 

Typical teenagers would likely be texting on their phone.

Did you see Keira’s eyes light up as she typed your names on her iPad?

Her genuine interest in learning about you and your daughter?

She will recite word for word what you said and even tell her dad about you.  

Your future is so unknown right now and I’m sure you are trying to figure out what your life may look like.

I would have given anything to get a peek of our future life. 

The sheer mystery of it always caused me great anxiety. I knew it wasn’t going to be what I had always thought or planned.

Would I have been sad or scared seeing their current life?   

Do I now see them from a place of acceptance that I couldn’t possible possess in the beginning?

Would I have been able to see past their delays to see any of the positive?  

I’m guessing your life is about to change a lot. 

Your quiet little girl won’t be able to stay in her own world much longer.  And watching her open up to the real world is both heartbreaking and beautiful.

You have quite the journey ahead of you. 

It will be full of highs and lows. You will find your way and it will be Ok.

You won’t know where she will fall on this spectrum.  But you will be there to see each step. And live every part of it with her.

And let me tell you that watching her embrace our world will be truly miraculous.

I really do hope meeting us didn’t make you more sad or anxious for her future. Maybe it does take a level of reflection and acceptance to see the beauty.   

The amazing things that make them so unique. Their funny little quirks that melt my heart.  

Maybe you did see some of that today.  I really hope you did.  

Written by, Michelle Kiger

My name is Michelle Kiger. I’m mom of 2 daughters with autism, Claudia (14) and Keira (12). We live in NJ. I have the rare opportunity to see the whole spectrum of autism on a daily basis. You can follow our journey on Facebook at My Redhead Warriors.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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