I am about to entrust you with my precious gift to you. She is strong, smart and loyal to a fault. My girl has a heart bigger than I’ve ever seen and a spirit to match, though you couldn’t tell it from her apathetic appearance. My daughter has always marched to the beat of her own drum, and we celebrated her ability to do so without the conscious worry about what others thought. I have given my fearless girl every bit of wisdom that I could impart during her upbringing, but I worry about how the world will treat her, and moreover about how she will respond to how incredibly cruel the world can be.
Realistically I know that this pang of anxiety I’m feeling is completely normal and every other parent feels this way before a child flies the nest. Though, I often wonder if the feeling is magnified for us folks whose teens are on the spectrum. Spectrum. I used to despise that word because at first I thought it meant limits to what my girl could do, but now I see spectrum is all of the beautiful colors between red and violet on that spectacular rainbow that graces the skies after a hard rain.
My sweet girl is so beautiful, but she doesn’t maintain eye contact. I promise you she’s still listening though. She’s so kind to those in need, but doesn’t always realize when someone isn’t being kind in return. World please provide her with a true friend that will be there to help her know the difference. My girl is ever so quiet, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a lot to say. This young lady stands for justice, yet her tongue glues itself to the roof of her mouth when she tries to advocate for herself, but her will is still strong.
This year has shown me the vivid colors of that spectrum, as she wants to spread her wings. With every attempt at ‘adulting’ comes a smile from her, all while I’m holding my breath and the sting of tears behind my eyes. I watch her struggle with the social things that other teens take for granted, but I stand back and look with pride as she attempts so bravely to do things that I know are terrifying to her. This girl is determined to write her own story, and I can’t wait to see all the colors she will use. So world please, be kind to my sweet girl as she navigates through your endless beauty laced with ever present pain. She has so much to offer and I guarantee you won’t want to miss out on her impact.