emma

emma phot bomb

{image is a photo of Emma striking a completely awesome pose behind Katie and Brooke. They are standing in front of Paradise Pond.}

Emma’s just texted. She’s on her way to meet us on the green. I turn us around, trying to remember where I’m going. It’s second nature, and not.

It’s strange to be walking around my alma mater with my family – a place so rife with fragments of memory, lousy with anxiety-laden regret. But this is so much more than that. And so much better.

I can’t wait.

We’ve been talking for less than a year, but Emma showed up on the very first day with a moving truck and took up residence in my heart. She’s since carved out quite a cozy a space for herself there – a bright, primary-colored, whipped-cream flavored, Belgian Waffle-shaped space. 

She’s half my age. Literally. Which is kinda sobering and a little awkward and has a tendency to make me feel both very young and very, very old – both connected to who I once was and very aware of what I no longer am.

But there’s something about Emma.

Something transcendent. 

Something so very like Brooke, even though they are so very, very different. 

A joy … 

A playfulness …

A larger than life love of life (Don’t try to make sense of it, just go with it) …

that

well

makes me feel

free.

And hopeful.

And a little intimidated. 

Cause she’s scary smart. The kind of smart that makes me aware that I’m not really as smart as I think I am. 

I see her emerging from the other side of the green, her arms waving haphazardly overhead, her head tilting happily from side to side. I can’t see her face yet, but I don’t need to. Even from here, I can see that she’s doing happy.

I throw my arms up and let out a little squeal, because I can.

“There she is, you guys!” I say to Luau, Katie and Brooke. I am ridiculously excited.

I notice that she’s wearing Brooke’s Fruited Plane shirt. It’s now established. This really can’t get any better. Well, unless somebody has waffles.

Note to self: figure out how to bring waffles next time.

We walk together. Emma and Katie dive into words. “Do you like Harry Potter?” Katie asks. The rest is history.

We will later leave them in a tiny book shop together as Luau and I head off with Brooke to another store. When we come back, neither of them will be ready to leave.

Over lunch, Brooke asks Emma the important questions. What is your favorite color? (Blue) What’s your second favorite color? (Green) What’s your third favorite color? (Purple)

She draws her into her scripts. Emma plays along.

Brooke chooses to sit next to her.

She chooses to sit next to her.

katie photo bomb

{image is a photo of Katie happily photobombing Emma and Brooke who are pulling very silly faces while making peace signs for the camera.}

We go in search of ice cream, but, thanks to a shared aversion for crowds, we settle for candy and popcorn. We sit outside the candy shop and happily watch the world go by as we eat.

Emma points out every dog within a five-mile radius and Brooke calls them all Winston. Brooke cracks herself up doing her “spooky” voice and finally persuades Emma to try it too.

Brooke needs a minute. I take her to a set of stairs nearby and we do what we need to do. I don’t worry about explaining to Em. I know that I don’t have to.

We talk. We don’t talk. We take silly pictures. We share our food. We take breaks in quiet corners and we run and squeal in the grass. We laugh. A lot. It’s easy. We just .. are.

Brooke asks Emma if she likes being autistic too. She says, “Yup.”

“Katie,” Brooke asks, “do you wish you were autistic too?”

“Not really,” Katie says, “but only because I like who I am.”

I am different from you, but we are the same.

I am the same as you, but we are different.

And all of that is okay.

It’s better than okay. 

We all like who we are. 

She has languaged their bond to life.

Worked out the connections.

Just as she is connected to her sister, she now knows that she is tied to this amazing young woman by something else.

all together

{image is a photo of Katie with her arms around both Brooke and Emma, both of whom are making peace signs and, um, faces.}

It is time to go.

Brooke walks up to Emma and, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world, hugs her. I am so grateful to have my phone in my hand. I snap a photo. Just one. It’s perfect.

“Luau,” I say, “did you SEE that?”

He smiles.

My girl knows her people.

And people who create bright, primary-colored, whipped-cream flavored, Belgian Waffle-shaped spaces in her mama’s heart are definitely her people.

She hugs her like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

Because it is.

emma hug

{image is a photo of Brooke and Emma hugging goodbye.}

*A Belgian waffle is not, as I had thought, so called simply because it is covered in whipped cream or ice cream or any other kind of cream. A Belgian waffle is Belgian because it has egg white beaten into it and is leavened with yeast, making it higher and fluffier than an American waffle. So says Emma. And I believe her. And I really like the word fluffy

* Follow Emma HERE

* And in case you’re not convinced, read this and this

5 thoughts on “emma

  1. Thank for starting my day with love and beauty. This was such a treat to read. Thank goodness for all of the Emma’s in this world.

    Love you,
    Mom

  2. I can’t be the only one reading this who just thought about what my second and third favorite colors are 😉 It’s a special feeling when you find your people, it warmed my heart to read this.

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