I have a secret. It’s a guilty, sweet, delicious private joy of motherhood. My little terror-snugglecakes daughter with autism does have a gift.
How many mothers remember and miss that precious snuggling baby? How many have forgotten or never known? It’s one of the things that keeps parents going during long nights of crying and long days of dirty diapers. It’s the tiniest arms that hardly reach around for a proper hug.
Emma, in all of her strangeness, loves babied affection like none other. She wants to be held, lotioned, rolled up in a blanket and rocked. Sing to her, let her smell in my skin like a lilac bush… she is in heaven. Wipe away her tears, stroke her cheek, more more more. It’s never enough for her…
She doesn’t care how badly I sing, that I don’t know the words. She sure doesn’t know them either. Her knees are tucked up under my arm and legs dangle awkwardly – she’s getting really big. But I can kiss her nose and her cheeks and hold her oh-so-tight. I think its about breathing in joy, you know?
Will she always be this way? Maybe not. But, the guilty part, is that she really might be. Even if she’s 20, maybe I’ll sit her down on my lap and sing the songs we both don’t know… and she’ll drink me in, and I’ll love every second of reprieve from what’s really going on.
And I do, love nearly every second of it.
There’s this disaster-mess of parenting that lies all around me, all the time. It’s called ‘raising an autistic toddler’. And in the middle of the mess of my life, I can take five and just rock my precious sweet girl.