Babies make me cry. They really do. They often make Brooke cry because she has an incredibly difficult time tolerating the piercing sounds that come out of those tiny creatures. I know they make some adults cry for the same reason.
But for me, I cry for a very different reason. When I see a baby I can’t help but be brought back in time, nearly 9 1/2 years ago when Brooke was the same age, laying in her crib, sitting in my lap, flopped over in her carseat.
I would look at her in the same way I would look at Katie when she was that age – I would look at her knowing that the possibilities were endless for this beautiful creature that lay before me.
I would play the next 10 to 15 years out in my head; a beautiful fairy tale; sisters who were best friends; soccer games; competitive gymnastics; stage productions; the mayor and future mayor of their school; loads of friends, parties and play dates; straight A students; the talk of the town…
Of course, life threw us a curveball.
…now I watch as gaggles of chatty girls go by; play dates and parties are rare occasions; the soccer games don’t exist and the gymnastics is more for fun; the sisters struggle with each other (though they most definitely love each other)…
Truth is, our futures, no matter who you are, rarely turn out the way we imagine they will. Autism, however, didn’t just nudge us on to a different path…it landed us in a completely different dimension of space-time.
We’ve made our way; we’ve found joy, sometimes even in the face of sadness; we’ve managed to relentlessly push forward, even when it feels like we are sliding backward. We struggle, just like so many, but we that is okay.
It is nothing like what I was expecting; I don’t think I even had a conceptual understanding of what lay before me.
…and that is why, when I see a baby, I cry.