I cried when we found out she was a girl. I wasn’t expecting to cry, I hadn’t with either of the boys. But there I was, laying in the ultrasound room, with tears in my eyes. I thought it was because I was disappointed or scared-I had no idea what I would do with a girl. But I was excited, happy, overwhelmed with, was that relief? I remember letting out a sigh and looking at the Hubs as he beamed at me through his own tears. We both laughed and he grabbed my hand and said, “A girl.” For him, she was all he wanted. He had dreamed of her for many years and he was eager to be wrapped around her little finger-and he promptly was with her first look at him! Me? I never thought I wanted a girl. I would have been happy with three boys. But God knew exactly what I needed. As the shock wore off and I began to get truly excited, I began to think of my own relationship with my mom. I began to look forward to seeing how different she would be from her brothers and wonder how much she would love pink and glitter and Barbies.
From the moment she was born, she has done things her way. She dances to the beat of her own drum, as they say. I knew pretty early that she had autism, but I waited to say anything. I wanted to see if maybe I was projecting or if she would maybe grow out of the behaviors I was seeing. We had only gotten John diagnosed just after her first birthday, so I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions with her. She was supposed to be so much for me and I held much tighter to the expectations I had for her.
Over the past year, as she has grown so much in school and begun communicating so much better, I have been excited to see what each new day would bring. Every day has felt almost like Christmas, because when your child has communication issues, progress is amazing and you cling to every new word. I have also been learning to take each child as they are-not who I expected them to be. It almost seems silly that it would take me so long to really embrace the idea that they are individuals. Whatever idea of themselves I have in my mind when they come into this world, they will never be. None of my beautiful children are how I imagined them, but they are so much more than I could have come up with myself.
She brings me so much joy. She exudes joy. She is so happy in her own little world and I occasionally get to be a guest there.