Monday, August 13, 2007

Sweet Joy

Paige is sitting at the table next to me as I'm typing this. She is eating chocolate pudding - a necessary snack of childhood. She has her legs crossed - something that just cracks me right up - I don't know where she has picked this habit up, but she is doing it all the time lately - as soon as she sits down she crosses her legs like a right proper lady.

She's got a bit of a chocolate mustache, only for some reason, Paige always makes upside down mustaches - that is, its her bottom lip that gets the 'stache, not her top one. I guess its probably due to the underbite she has.

And, intermittently, she is holding our her spoon and looking at it in the sunbeam that is coming through the window. She loves sunbeams, and moves throughout the house during the day to play in them with her toys.

Her therapists would tell you that it is because she is autistic that she plays in the sun like that - that its one of those quirky behaviors of kids with autism.

But, maybe she just likes the sunshine - maybe she likes the way it warms her skin when she sits in it, or the way she can make shadows in it, and watch her finger puppets dance on her legs.

When her pudding is done, she will come to me and ask to have her hands washed - she doesn't much like dirty hands. Neither do I.

And off she'll go to find her duck toy, the one that said 6+ months on the box when we bought it for her for her 6th or 7th birthday. She'll take Mr. Duck and spin around with him for a few minutes, as she listens to the music he always plays for her.

If I stay here much longer, she'll come and ask to play on the computer. She loves and can whiz through much of the website. Funny, she can't tell me where her nose is, but she can put together a puzzle or zip through a maze like nobody's business.

After a bit, we'll wander out to the deck, paper and pencil crayons in hand, where we'll draw funny circles, and practice writing her name. And I'll smile as she makes the letter "i" three inches longer than the rest of her letters, and circles the top part of the letter "g" two or three times before she gives it a tail.

And those silly legs of hers - long and thin "first grade legs" we call them in our house - well, maybe she'll cross them again like a lady. And maybe she'll just swing them as she draws - a happy, carefree sign of childhood.

Perhaps she'll fold them up under her "Indian style" or put one leg on each arm of the big chair she is sitting in, reminding the world that she has Down syndrome, and is incredibly, crazily flexible.

For me, it'll just remind me that she is my daughter - precious and perfect in every way.


Jessica said...

Great post! Chocolate pudding IS the best!

Shannon said...

Okay if acting that way about the sunshine means autism, then I think my cat is autistic! LOL! I can envision her perfectly eating the pudding! How sweet!

The Rocking Pony said...

Sunshine and chocolate pudding should be staples in every house.

mum2brady said...

Ohhh Betsy - what a wonderful post!!!

And - if loving the sunshine is an autstic trait - I have a lot of autistic children :) LOLOL We are all sunworshippers (bad, bad us - but we do wear sunscreen ;)

I think that sometimes things just get attributed to our kids because of their diagnosis, but really it is just them.

Paige makes my heart sing - she is very special - thanks for sharing her with me!!!

Laura Q said...

She IS perfect Miss Betsy, this is a beautiful post. I too must be highly autistic because if I could, I would spend my entire days laying in the sun.

PS - how did you NOT open up a can of whoop ass on Barb?! You are a way nicer person than I, but we already knew that! ;) love ya!

Nicole said...

Beautiful child, beautiful mom, beautiful post

Camille said...

Do you have any idea how great your gift with words is?
Boy oh boy, you make me laugh. I could see Paige's upside down mustache.
"I am autistic and you are my sunshine!!!"
Emma too plays in different places in the house, depending on where the sun is coming in. At suppertime, she plays right in front of the patio door, on the carpet FULL OF DOG HAIR. She will drag a cushion and a blanket there, and, babies, of course!!!
Could Emma have a triple diagnostic?
D.S., ADD, and autism???

jennifergg said...

Absolutely, and so lovely! Thank you!