Yesterday was my littlest daughter's birthday, so we hightailed it to Disneyland to get her free stuff and so that I could pull my hair out because:
- it was 90- fricken -SIX degrees at 3 p.m.
- it's August and beyond crowded
- I am so over Disneyland, since I have lived here for years
But, it's what she wanted to do, so we did it. She had a wonderful time, and watching her eyes glow and her face light up with the intensity of a thousand suns? Makes the sensory-hell overload that is the Mouse House worth it. Spying her grinning with glee when the New Orleans Mardi Gras band threw her a bead necklace? Wonderment. And dancing with her in front of everyone? My heart was happy. SItting next to her on the sun-warmed sidewalk while she held my hand tightly and gasped in awe at the fireworks? Perfection.
I know these are things that so many feel for their little ones, and I don't want to discount that at all! But these milestones for me are hard-fought, since my littlest one has high-functioning autism. Yes, she speaks, and yes she handles herself, most of the time. There are days where she is selectively mute, or only communicates by singing. Or where she shuts down and tantrums because unspoken expecations have not been met. Autism is nothing if not a rigid master. But,all that aside, because today she turned 8. She acts closer to 5, and I know that. People think she is younger, because, on top of being more immature, she is almost more pixie-ish. With her huge almond-shaped sea green eyes, she looks more elfin than human much of the time. Combine that with her need to only ever wear dresses, and you begin to understand the character from Robert Heinlein's, Stranger in a Strange Land.
I have hope that she will one day be able to navigate the octopus tentacles of little girl relationships, but for now, I content myself with knowing she is a relatively happy little princess.
Today is a day of celebration. Time enough for tomorrow and worry about her future. Today, is the day we eat cake. Today, is the day we dance with abandon.
T, who really likes to dance