Thoughts About a Special Girl

My daughter Sara has been on my mind a lot lately.  She’ll be transferring schools at the end of this month to a school that specializes in treating and teaching children with autism.  I’m nervous about this move, which will involve a 30-40 minute bus ride for Sara.  I’ll miss her teachers that she has now.  Sara loves them; I love them; they love Sara – but as we all admit, they are not set up to handle children who have the autism-related issues that Sara has.  I know we are doing the right thing.
Sara was diagnosed with autism shortly before her 3rd birthday.  The only memory I have of having a “normal” family was in those first 3 years with my beautiful blonde haired, blue-eyed smiley little girl.  She didn’t talk much, but being my first child, I didn’t think too much about it.  I had gut feelings and instincts that something wasn’t quite right (mom ESP), but no one confirmed my feelings, so I let them go.  After all, Sara was filled with smiles and laughter – she still is at the age of 10.  The year or so following her diagnosis was a whirlwind filled with reading everything I could get my hands on about autism spectrum disorders, arranging therapy – speech, occupational and physical, developmental pediatricians, neurologists, educational consultants, holistic specialists, private in-home therapies, tests.  You name it, we did it.
Jump ahead 7 years, and I still have my beautiful blonde haired, blue-eyed smiley girl.  But Sara has issues.  She has tantrums.  She gets aggressive.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that I would sometimes wonder what I did that God gave me this “problem”.  What would my life be like if Sara were “normal”? Sara often tries my patience.  I get frustrated.  Her dad and sister get frustrated.  It is not easy.  This IS our normal.
But I don’t consider Sara a problem.  Yes, I sometimes feel sorry for myself, but Sara has a way of curing that.  She often wakes me up at the crack of dawn with “Good morning, Mom.  I like you”.  She learned about “bathroom etiquette” in school, and wanted to see every man’s bathroom around to check out the urinal – sorry, but that made me laugh.  She communicates with our dog Rocky by growling at him.  She is extraordinarily outgoing.  She is extraordinarily affectionate.  She loves babies and wants to kiss them on the head.  She has a way of making people smile, including me.  Including Ziggy, who was in line behind us in Starbucks this morning.
I do believe that God put Sara in my life for a reason.  I do believe that God knows exactly where these special children belong.  I also believe that God loves Sara and that God understands people with special needs.  I don’t know exactly how much Sara knows about God, but I know when I ask her “Who loves you?” her first answer is not mom or dad, it is Jesus.  Out of the blue, Sara asked me who Charles Darwin was.  I answered simply that he was a man who thought that people developed from monkeys (ok – probably not the best summary, but one she could understand).  Sara’s response?  “That’s silly.  Jesus made us”.  Close enough Sara.  I love you.
Kris Milashus
 

One thought on “Thoughts About a Special Girl

  1. Andrea and Eric Chaudron

    Kris,
    What nice thoughts, one?s we share with you, having many of the same challenges with Jack. We also feel the same mix of emotions. W??We celebrate things in Jack that are truly unique like his unconditional love and his innocence. We feel like you do about Sara, that despite the challenges, Jack and Sara are an expression of God?s love, and trust in us, as his parents, to help them grow physically, mentally and spiritually. Sara, you and your family are in our prayers. We hope her new school is great and helps her to achieve her full potential. These kids have a way of amazing us all with their hidden talents.
    Andrea and Eric Chaudron

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