It’s boring, to me, to discuss whether normal is a word we should attribute to the typical population, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll just say that among the normal crowd, is a place our youngest doesn’t reside. She instead, with her autism, her neurodevelopmental differences, lives in a world of her making. She does not, and has never, given a feeble shit about whether she is normal or not. In fact, her existence, to date, seems to rival the very idea of ‘normal’, ‘typical’ or, ‘conformity’. Her confidence in ‘who she is’ to use a weak phrase meant to encapsulate the entire idea of connecting with yourself at your very core, is so firmly bold, courageous, and maybe even a little cocky, that it might make you question whether being typical is preferable, at all. Maybe the idea is to be content and to be content you have to rock the wrong side of typical?
Do you feel bad for her, when she loses her words when she is frustrated? Me too. It breaks my heart when I think her brain is defying her. But lately, I wonder. I wonder if her anger and frustration are born from moments of losing that assurance that she is verifiably awesome in every single way. Maybe those moments of frustration are a small price to pay to never live with self-doubt, anxiety, mistrust, and a general sense of existential dread.
Yeah, for me too.
To be less dramatic, I’ll say it like this:
Don’t for a second think I am suggesting my little girl is ‘blissfully ignorant’
I am trying to tell you that she has figured it out. She understands who she is and why she is and she doesn’t care to prove it to anyone, but herself.
It this a result of her autism?
I don’t know, but it seems likely.
I won’t deny that there are dark days for her but I will say she has far fewer than the rest of us.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)