Those who have knowledge don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.
~ Lao Tzu
Hi there. Remember me? Two and a half years ago, you sat down with a terrified young family and answered a question that you had no right to answer.
You told a reeling couple that their newly diagnosed, as yet untreated three year old would likely live a solitary life. Does this ring a bell, doctor? The day that, after spending all of an hour and a half with our beautiful little girl, you somehow decided that you had the right to tell us that she would likely CHOOSE to spend her life alone?
Well, doctor, we knew you were wrong. We knew our daughter. We were stronger than your words. We were stronger than your white lab coat and your Harvard degree. We were almost as strong as our little girl is turning out to be.
Doctor, I’d like to introduce you to that little girl just two and a half years later. Let’s take a walk through her recent party, shall we?
Join me, doctor. This is going to be fun …
The first guest arrived. Brooke used her long-practiced and well honed opening lines. (You see, doctor we never gave up on playdate after playdate.)
“Want to go to my room? I’ll show you all my toys.”
They headed up the stairs together and went straight into her room. They stood there somewhat awkwardly for a moment, neither of them quite sure what to do next.
Then Brooke apparently found her muse. “We would jump on the bed,“ she told her little friend. And so they did. Without so much as another word, they jumped. Happy as little monkeys.
The rest of the guests arrived and made their way up to Brooke’s room to join the fun. Since there obviously wasn’t going to be room for all five of them on the bed, I suggested they play Ring Around the Rosy, one of Brooke’s favorites. And ring the rosy they did.
When the ringing and the rosying finally petered out, I suggested that we head downstairs. We had about fifteen minutes to kill before it would be time for the animal show. My thought had been to play this wonderful song that Brooke knows from her movement class. I thought it would get the kids dancing. Unbeknownst to me, little Miss Brooke apparently had her own thought.
I stopped in the kitchen just long enough to greet a mom that I hadn’t seen yet and then turned back around to find the girls half way through the door to the basement playroom. “C’mon, girls,” I said encouragingly, “Let’s go into the den and we’ll listen to some fun music.”
“No, we would go downstairs to the play room,” said the little hostess. I noticed that she was holding one little girl’s hand. They were all waiting for their direction. Not from me. From Brooke.
I’ve never been so happy to have my plans overridden. They didn’t need the orchestration. They were just fine. Together. Playing. So off they went into the basement.
They found their way into the bubbles.
And big sister indulged them all.
There were silly faces.
And lost teeth (well, one lost tooth and one completely fabricated but socially appropriate ‘me too!’)
There was stilt walking and ball bouncing and even an impromptu marching band. All in the space of fifteen minutes.
And oh, yes .. animals! Fluffy the chinchilla.
Burt the tree frog. Or is that Ernie?
A corn snake, best observed from a safe distance.
Al the alligator.
And even one really, really big snake.
The party was wonderful. Brooke was ENGAGED. Bold faced capital letters ENGAGED. She was THERE. But the real magic was yet to happen, doctor.
The kids said their good-byes and headed out. The snakes and scorpions and crawly critters were all blissfully back in their cages and on their way home. The frog pee was cleaned off the kitchen floor.
We immediately uploaded the photos so that I could work on creating a thank you album for the grandparents who so generously made this amazing experience happen. I started sorting and cropping and editing and moving pictures from one file to another. And this one came up …
And Brooke looked at it. She pointed to it. And then she said, “We’re best friends.”
So, doctor? With all due respect, I think my daughter just told you to take your prognosis and shove it.
A very, very proud Mom