Wednesday, January 15, 2014

love, like an ocean.

My life has been consumed by Autism lately.

I go through these phases, is what I'm learning.
Phases where Evie is just Evie, and life is just life, and everything seems okay. And then, out of nowhere, a phase where Evie is "Autistic" and my heart feels too heavy for too long.

I'm still getting used to it, is what I'm realizing. It's still so new. I still kiss her lips 20 times in a row as she smiles that perfect, gap-toothed smile, and wonder when this became part of her? And when parts of her that I've always loved became parts of her that technically make her "disabled".

I still have to remind myself that this is my new life. Every priority has shifted, every perspective has changed. Gone is the mother who was laid-back and carefree, and in her place is me: a mother who spends nearly 100% of her day down on the ground pushing cars, and making "vrrroooooommm" noises, and crawling after them on all fours like a monster, as 3 tiny children giggle and squeal. Because fear, like an ocean, will swallow me whole if I don't.

I still haven't learned how to stop worrying about her. I thought I would get better at that, with time. I thought that accepting it would mean I'd no longer feel the need to over-analyze it. But I still find myself, on the gloomiest of days, absolutely exhausted with worry. I've never known such worry and pressure in all my life. I never knew the world could feel so heavy on my shoulders, so heavy with the promise of another day, so heavy with the list of things that absolutely have to get done. No, I'm not talking about the dishes, or the laundry--those tasks can wait years for all I care. I'm talking about that sweet little girl sleeping down the hall with her blankie and pillow pet tucked safely under her arm, and all those dreams yet to realize.

Tomorrow we will wake up and eat breakfast, we will get dressed and brush her hair. I will remind her to say goodbye to Nana and goodbye to Papa and she will practice stacking blocks, and doing puzzles, and remembering to tell me she "wants a snack" if her tummy growls. She will kiss Will, and pester Nora, and sing along to "Five Little Monkeys" as they bounce and bounce and bonk their little heads on the floor.

And tomorrow I will try, once again, to give her my life, my sanity, all that I am.

I never knew how much I could love her.