The hunt and endless search.
My futile attempts- all dashed.
My breath, often held or elongated.
Our rival is sensory overload.
Like a pebble in the middle of a stream.
Barely noticeable to the eye, but upon contact, a force to be reckoned with.
The swirl of large groups of people.
The reverb of a gym floor.
The echo of a chilled room.
Soft amber lights.
A slight schedule change.
All ingredients for overload. Her declaration that says “Enough. I’m done”.
As her mom, what hurts most is watching her have the desire to interact, with her body behaving otherwise.
While at a recent function in a large building with a stretched hallway, more adults and resounding echoes, around the corner stood another group of teens. They walked into a room.
She stood, peeking around the corner but refused to go in.
Too noisy. Too full.
So she dropped to the ground and sat. Unbothered, finding comfort in the safe spot she made herself.
Call it “teen years”, but we still search for a solution.
I found myself silently screaming,
“It isn’t fair! Can my daughter have ONE moment of unabashed comfort. Can she NOT have to conform to this world for ONE moment!”
My tears bubble now as I think of her struggle with life’s simplicity.
As I ponder more, I question is it me.
Am I uncomfortable with the daily stares?
Am I nervous or afraid of judgement by others?
This schema that floats in my head of how it “should” be.
And the realization comes that those elusive pockets of normalcy may be few and far between.
Even if our family meets only the minimum requirement of “normal”, that things will be okay.
Because though this life can be hard, it’s still good.
The good of the “Before Bed Dance Routine” time ("The Git Up Challenge" Included).
The good of her laughter during a road trip.
The good of endless hugs all day.
The good of spontaneous, spoken words.
The good of her 5 year old sister, holding her hand, patting her neck, whispering, “It’s okay. Want a hug?”
Or even when some random stranger takes a few moments to speak and asks, “How are you?” without looking terrified.
If you are still searching for your pockets of normalcy, I won’t ask you to quit. Because, well, that's normal.
On those hard days, just try to keep in mind that life doesn’t have to be normal, to be good.