Last night I played in the park with PanKwake until almost dark. Looking around that park, only one other parent was as actively engaged with her child as I was. Just shy of my fiftieth birthday and I am running after kids between the ages of six and twelve with my arms splayed wide and giggling like a little girl.
Honestly, I spend more time outside, running and playing in the sand with her than I did with all of my others combined… more than I did as a child myself. I always had to be the ‘good girl,’ quiet and easy for everyone to love. Because of the autism, I give her…and ultimately myself…the freedom to be loud…to be free…to be a kid.
And honestly, I am able to do all of that because I am an older mother. I no longer worry about what people say about me as a parent…even when they say it to my face, I just get right back in theirs. She keeps me young. And despite all of the challenges we face, it is moments like last night that remind me…everything will be all right in the end. She is an au-mazing little girl…and I am lucky to have her. Meltdowns or not….