It’s Sunday afternoon. Desperate to escape the heat, we venture out to the Rainforest Cafe for a late lunch. After we eat, the girls and I wander around the gift shop.
Katie immediately points to something. “Mama!” she shouts, “check this out!” As I turn to look at what she wants to show me, Brooke yells, “Look, Mom!” and I instinctively turn to look in her direction. Katie grimaces, “Mama,” she says “you didn’t look. This is really cool.” As I turn back to her again, Brooke taps my arm. “Mama,” she says, shoving a rubber snake under my nose, “look at this.”
Completely overwhelmed by their simultaneous demands on my attention, I take a deep breath.
And then I start to laugh.
March 12, 2009
I follow the little arm to the very end of an outstretched finger. I look into the distance to see what she is pointing at.
“What do you see, baby girl?”
I am nearly breathless.
“I see the blue house.”
I can barely contain myself.
“I see it too, Brooke! Yes! The house (which was actually a small industrial looking building) is blue! Thank you so much for showing it to me!”
She is three weeks shy of six years old.
The words play again and again in my ears like a sweet, rhapsodic concerto.
I think back to that first evaluation.
The doctor said, “She lacks shared enjoyment.”
I’d never heard the phrase before, but the truth in the words was painfully obvious.
“She does not point to objects or seek to engage others in any type of cooperative play. She does not share observations about her surroundings as would a typically developing child.”
OK, so it took nearly six years. Brooke has never claimed to be on anyone’s schedule but her own.
But there it was.
No prodding nor urging nor cajoling.
Just a blue house.
An outstretched finger.
And an overjoyed Mama.
Four and a half years later, standing in the middle of the gift shop in a friggin Rainforest Cafe, I am laughing so hard I can’t breathe.
Unfazed, my girls continue to pull me in different directions, fighting for my attention.
Mama, check this out!
I implore them to take turns. I ask them to wait. I ooh and ahh (and eww) over their finds.
And I laugh some more as I pull them close for the split second that they’ll allow and then, with all my being, I celebrate being a mom in a shop at her wit’s end because her kids are tripping over each other to share with her what they see.