‘how was your weekend?’ my friend asked.
‘a roller coaster ride really,’ was the only answer i had.
a long weekend
a roller coaster ride
of good, bad, ugly and extraordinary
of Autism with a capital A
and Breakthroughs with capital Bs
of sensory seeking and hearts sinking and focus spinning everywhere but here
of old behaviors and visceral communication
of grunts and shrieks and stomping feet
of searching for cobwebs in corners and begging for escape from all the ‘fun’
of innocent comments that stung like hell
of our dear winnie – our favoritest of favorite waitresses (who knows brooke so well) saying that her niece is five, ‘just like brooke.’
my girl is seven.
of a seven year-old riding the toddler slide at the pool. and needing a prompt to take her turn each and every time as the three and four year-olds went zooming by.
of playdates – well, one really – long anticipated, then over in a flash. of a mother’s cringe when her girl spelled the little boy’s name out in play-doh and he was shocked – simply shocked – that she could spell his name. of the mother asking if he could spell the girl’s name and him answering, ‘B-R-O-O-K-E’ and the mother asking then why he would be surprised that she could spell his. of the mother trying to hide a flash of anger as he said, ‘but i’m just surprised that she could do that, you know …’ and his words trailed off. of the mother trying hard to lose what she knew was a defensive edge as she said, ‘she can spell the name of every one in the class.’
of moments that might never have been believed. of a trip to the pet supply store to pick up a new bowl for winston. of a girl dragging her mom by a single finger to the back of the store to go SEE A DOG – a HUGE DOG – that had just walked in with its owner. of a mother beaming as her little girl stood before the dog – a monster of an animal nearly twice her size – and asked, ‘may i please pet your dog?’ the mother understanding that they’ve just begun to see the gifts that winston has brought to her family.
of a big sister tired of answering ‘why? why, katie? why?’ to the little sister who has just discovered the word. of that big sister hearing her mom jovially saying to a friend (a new friend, as in ‘hey, want to compare IEPs?’ kinda friend) at the pool, ‘it’s like having a toddler around. we’re back-filling the ‘why’s.’ of the big sister saying, ‘mama, when do kids USUALLY ask ‘why’ all the time?’ of the mom answering, ‘around three, baby.’ of the silence that hung thickly in the air right after the big sister said, ‘but brooke is seven, mama’ and the mama saying, ‘yes, honey, she is.’
of a day at the zoo. a day in which a little girl, previously afraid of anything that could fly stood INSIDE an aviary with a stick full of birdseed in her hand yelling happily, ‘a bird landed on it!’ of a little girl who then smiled and waited patiently for another bird to come – and then another and another.
of a daze. of a tired mom collapsing in front of mindless television before bed.
of the whirlwind tour in her head – of the ups, the downs, the corners at breakneck speed.
of a friend asking, ‘how was your weekend?’
and of the one image that comes to mind.
her little girl.
holding a bird on a stick.