From the Archives: For Her Garden
In these snippets from the archives, I delight in the nuances of my daughter's personality and some of her autistic quirks.
March 7th, 2004:
I've spent tons of time outside today, breathing the mountain air, listening to frogs and birds. I walked down to the Bulk Mountain Foods store and bought apple butter and pumpkin bread. I took my daughter skating outside, and we also played tennis and just ran around in the yard.
She read the back of a book today, something I'd never read to her today, entire sentences (give or take a few of the longer words) and now I know beyond all doubt that when she spends long stretches of time in her room all huddled in her pile of books actually *reading* them, and not just looking at the pictures. I can't even imagine what it must be like inside her head. It's no wonder sometimes she just needs a quiet, dark place to be for a few minutes.
March 20th, 2004:
You know you have an autistic child when she doesn't understand how to answer the question "what did you do at school today?" but she can accurately name all of the bones in her body.
"Cranium," she coos with her little chipmunk-angel voice. "Scapula. Mandible. Patella." Pointing to each with that childlike glee of self-discovery and endless curiosity.
March 31st, 2004:
Drove to pick up A. Rainbows in the sky. Happy thing. Brought A. outside to take a look at her first rainbow. A. finally agrees that it's Spring, since I have the rainbow to prove it.
April 4th, 2004:
My daughter, now, when she wants something, she will add "for my garden" to the end of the statement. "Mommy, I wanna red lollipop for my garden." "I wanna chocolate chip cookies for my garden." "I wanna pretty dress for my garden." I love this metaphor. I like to fancy that in my daughter's language, for my garden is really some elaborate idiom that is added to the end of a sentence to underscore the desperate degree she wants a certain thing. That for my garden might refer to something like "the garden in my heart". Despite the fact that this is probably just another echo-phrase she picked up from a movie or a computer game, somewhere.
April 16th, 2004:
I love the fact that my daughter appreciates my taste in movies. I'm introducing her to The Water Babies at the moment, which was one of my favourite films when I was her age. She seems quite enraptured. It's amazing how much influence this movie had on my developing mind. The chimney-sweep lost-boy, the scottish highlander of a lobster, the flaming and quite openly homosexual seahorse, the swashbuckling romantic swordfish hero.
Lobster: "You're crying? What's that for, then?"
Boy: "Well, y'see, it's just, I've never saved a lobster's life before."
Or Tom not knowing who Jesus is when he sees the crucifix on the wall in the mansion. It's a great movie. Y'know, if you go for old dorky british children's movies like myself.
I really need to read the book, yes I know.
My daughter is being absolutely adorable tonight.
"You've got monkeytoes!" I inform her.
"No," she answers. "I'm a kittenish."