Autism Awareness Month - day 22. Growing up. I understood that growing up was always going to mean something different to me and Jessie. For me growing up involved finishing high school, deciding on college, choosing a career, pursuing that career, and hopefully marriage & parenthood. I’ll never know what “growing up” looked like in Jessie’s mind. But now I can sort of imagine what it looked like in my parents’ mind. I can sort of imagine it, because in my only 3 years of parenthood, I’m aware how many hopes and dreams you can build up for your child. And I know - let your children love their lives, don’t make choices for your children, yes. But in these precious first years, dreaming for her is less about pushing her into something you want and more about wondering who the awesome human she is will become one day. And I love that at any given moment on any given day, in her mind, the future is wide open and she is just as excited about it. Her current list of what she’ll do when she’s grown up varies, but always includes: driving, using big scissors, and drinking soda. Sometimes it includes being an actress, sometimes it’s about climbing ladders, today she asked me if she could be a Momma. My heart swells. The world of possibilities are beautiful... and I’m aware, sometimes painfully aware that my parents had two very different experiences during this phase for me and Jess. There was a small window where they dreamed big dreams for Jessie, where they pictured cheering for her at sporting events, fighting with her through high school, watching her walk across the stage at her college graduation, walking her down the aisle, holding her child for the first time and watching her become a mother. They happen fast, these dreams. They changed a bit slower, but still - too fast. So I’m thankful for this time, the time to dream, and remind myself over and over again that while we often remember the future isn’t a guarantee, these dreams aren’t always a guarantee either. .
#autismawareness #autismadvocate #sibling #everythingineedtoknowilearnedfromautism #auntjessieisourhero #autism #chooselove #love #family #autismawarenessmonth #proudsister #compassion