A Toe-Walking She Will Go

I’m already nearly in tears.  I make mental note to never get to the school early again.  The waiting is killing me.  It’s 2:28pm and the last ten minutes have been pure torture.  Another mom is sitting nearby with her typical daughter.  They are waiting, too.  The mom seems just as anxious.  I have never met her, but I feel the need to cut the tension with some small talk. 

“I still cry every time I pick her up from school.” 

“I know what you mean,” she replies.  “It seems funny.  It’s not like she’s away from me that long but I am always so anxious to see her again.” 

“Me too.”  I turn to look down the hallway for the millionth time.  Nope.  Not yet.  “It’s just such a blessing to know she is so happy here.” 

A truly adorable little blond-haired girl is making her way to the lobby, escorted by one of the dozens of truly adorable young ladies that teach here.  Mom and sister perk up immediately and the little girl having seen her mama starts squawking sweetly and flapping with excitement.  Mom eases down to her knees and opens her arms widely – her baby nestles in deep and Mom is clearly melting to have her baby back.  Mom asks little one about her day at school but the little one is unable to answer with words so instead her body language does the talking for her.  She is truly happy to see her mother. 

I am now bursting at the seams with anticipation of getting my hands on my RM. 

Buses have shown up and other students are making their way with their escorts to the front door.  One by one.  …Autism is one word, but there is no one autism…  Each of the children ranging in age from 3 to 13 have their own signature style of exiting the building.  Some are squawkers, some are flappers, some are just quiet and have the most peaceful looks on their faces.  Regardless of the way they work it down the autism runway – they are all clearly members of The Club. 

Now you might think I am an idiot, or just plainly a jackass – but I don’t view my daughter as a Club Member.  Maybe it is because of all she has already been through medically just to be here.  Or maybe it is just that I think she is the freaking most fabulous creature ever.  Yes.  I meant to word it that way.  Freaking.  Most.  Fabulous. Creature. Ever.  I really do not know why it is so hard for me to look at my little girl as autistic. 

But here she comes.  In all her glory she is making her way down that runway singing her heart out with lyrics no one is the wiser to and bouncing so joyously on those toes with every step.  She is happy.  HAPPY.  I don’t know how I managed to pop out two of the most cheerful, positive rugrats on the planet – but apparently I did.  And I do believe that nothing could change that about them.  Not even autism. 

I slip off my chair as she sees me and I throw my arms out wide.  She runs to me screeching with excitement and smiling so hard I wonder how she can see where she is going with those chubby cheeks pushing up at her now squinty eyes.  She throws herself into me hard and I squeeze her so tight perhaps I cause her to lose a breath.  But no matter – we are both so excited to be reunited once again. 

I stand up and she takes my hand as we walk to the car.  She is bouncing on clouds every step of the way.   As it should be.   Who am I to judge my daughter by her disabilities rather than her happiness?   

It may have a name – autism – but it doesn’t have anything on my bouncy, flappy, beautiful girl.  She is my daily gift to remind me that we are all unique by design.  Pure and simple.  We are all graceful in our own way.  Whether we sashay, roll, stumble or toe-walk our way down that runway.

A toe-walking she will go.  A toe-walking she will go.

She is mine.  Fashionably bouncy and ALL. MINE.



About Rachel Kenyon

Rachel Kenyon is an Aspie, Advocate and single mom of two beautiful babes - The Boy (11) and RM (8). The Boy is a Legomaniac and RM is a kick-ass diva with Autism and 4q Deletion Syndrome. View all posts by Rachel Kenyon

22 responses to “A Toe-Walking She Will Go

  • Molly Hart Keene

    The more time goes by, the more I’m convinced that I hit the jackpot. Yes, there are hard times and things I wish I could make easier for O (and RM, too), but this is a life I wouldn’t appreciate in the way that I do without the a-bomb. I realize that my house on Autism Street is a rather picturesque cottage (with a small dungeon at times, but mostly pretty perky) and that my situation is a lot more conducive to that particular outlook than others. However, I don’t know that I’d trade my cottage that constantly needs work for a tract home on Normal Street. Love that RM is so happy with school and to see her mama. Love you.

  • PJ Ruddy

    This is the other reason why we transport Magnus every day. And of course you don’t look at your little girl as autistic. First and foremost she is your baby girl, then she is the freaking most fabulous creature ever, followed by autistic.

  • bethannej

    I LOVE pick up time…love to see my singing girl bounce up the hallway, saying “Hi Mommy!!!!” (words I feared I would never hear). Chris & Jen always say they hear Lu way before they see her :-) I am always so happy to be there, I do the oposite, I show up early to sit there and anticipate how great the hug will be!!!!!!

  • akbutler

    Love this. I too never think of my son as anything other than my son. Except when I’m writing about him. So glad RM is in such a good place. So happy for you.

    • Mrs. Sergeant Major

      Alysia, the strangest part may be that I feel that I am the one ‘living with autism’. Not RM. I am the one who ‘handles’ the autism, writes about it, worries about it, etc… She just lives. Period.
      xo Love ya!

  • Cheairs Redfining Typical

    I love this post. I love your response to Alysia. My husband has said to me so many times, “You know he is happy. He doesn’t know he has autism. He is as happy as he can be.” I love your hope and the beauty that you see in your little girl. Just a beautiful post!!

  • Jennie K. Diller-Daniels

    it’s heart wrenching when they grow up, but i LOVE the fact that lila loves to go to school. we decided to let her go to school on the bis in the morning and i’ll pick her up after i get out of school. today was the first day that she rode the bus home(i have a class that lasts until 2:50 and she gets out at 3). she could not wait to get out of the bus, but she does like riding the bus though. she came off as my smiling girl and i love that. we’re allowed to go inside to pick up our kids since it’s an early childhood center i\and it goes up to age 5. when i see her in her classroom, she pops up cleans up and runs to her locker and then she runs through the hall way to the door that goes outside all the while with a smile on her face =).

  • Sabrina

    Just read a comment above. And i read what my husband tells me every single night when I crash..those days my God..:S.

    “He is happy, he is him, what else do you want? isn’t that the goal? to make them happy and live a happy life?”

    :) My son is happy and is other Freaking most fabulous creature ever! :)

  • Shelley

    My Angel son is 6 now and in 1st grade. His typical brother just started kindergarten. I found out yesterday that he walks his little brother to his class every morning and in the afternoon gets him from his class so they can get on the bus together. My Angel is an amazing little boy with a heart so filled with love. I am so proud of who he is becoming and so lucky he is my Angel.

    • Mrs. Sergeant Major

      We are all lucky he is your Angel. It is babes like yours that make our world so rich. Sounds like they love each other deeply. My own are inseparable and it is such a joy to see.

      Thank you for sharing with all of us today!

  • cathleen

    loved your post so much it brought tears to my eyes. im not one to weep

  • Niksmom

    I’m not sure how I missed this post in my reader! Must’ve been hiding from me, waiting for the moment I needed to read it and be reminded of the breath-taking joy my sons brings to my life. As you know, we’ve been dealing with awful behavioral side effects from a new medication; reading this today after deciding to take him off the medication just feels like a reminder of all that is good and beautiful…and PERFECT about my son. Thank you for sharing this with us. xo

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