Most of you already know this, but Izzy was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism) when she was three. After years of occupational therapies, speech therapies, social skills classes, art classes, karate, therapeutic horseback riding, and anything else I could find that I thought would help her make a connection, she is thriving!
Today something happened that I thought might never happen for her. It wasn’t a big deal, but to me it was everything. She had friends phone her from sleep-away camp because they missed her (she could only handle one session so they were still there). They told me how much they missed her and how much they loved her and that camp just isn’t the same without her, and”is she coming back next year?! Do you promise?!”
I am so proud of the bonds she formed and the young woman she is becoming. She makes me smile every day and has shown me that love shows itself in the most unexpected ways.
I wrote this for her some time over the past year in an attempt to clarify for her how she might recognize love, but today, I learned that she already knows.
Can You See Love?
I love you.
And, I know you love me too.
I can see your love. And it talks to me.
I see your love in the morning. When you come into my room and wake me. Your love tells me you can’t wait to see me.
I see your love at school. When I bring you to class and you kiss me goodbye. Your love says “I’ll miss you.”
I see your love when you show me the picture you drew for me. Your love wants me to know you thought of me.
I even see your love in the middle of the night when you are afraid and you come find me. Your love whispers to me, “I know you will take care of me, and make me feel better.”
I see your love when you dance for me, play a game with me, or cry in my arms. It tells me that I am important to you.
Can you see my love? Can you hear it?
You can see my love when I smile and kiss you Good Morning. My love says I am so glad to see you today.
You can see my love when I make you chocolate chip waffles. It says “I know these are your favorite and I like to see you smile.”
You can see my love when I hold you on the monkey bars so you don’t fall. My love tells you I am proud of the new things you can do, and I don’t want you to get hurt.
You can see my love when I put your peas on the side of your plate – so they don’t touch your potatoes. It says that what you want is important to me.
You can see my love when I help you get dressed, sing you a song, or just hold you close.
Sometimes it can be very hard to see love.
If you push your sister, or refuse to share a book, I might frown. It’s hard to see love in a frown.
If you pretend not to hear me or break a picture frame, I might yell. It’s hard to hear love in a yell.
Maybe I’m not fair and I send you to your room because I am angry.
And maybe you don’t want to talk to me because you are angry.
But my love is still there. And it is still talking to you. It says “I want you to be the best person you can be and it is my job to teach you and help you.”
You cry and your love answers. “I am trying my hardest.”
And now, we understand each other.
You will see my love clearly again in my smile and my arms holding you tight.
Can you see my love right now?
I can see your love.
They are talking.
And they are saying to each other “I am here with you – always.”
Copyright 2009 by Sarah Maizes, All Rights Reserved
[republished on Autisable with permission]