Every night Elizabeth lays out her clothes for the next day I know this is her way of organizing the start to her morning..an ode to her dyspraxia, so when I go to hug her and kiss her goodnight, I can see the clothes hanging over the chair near her desk. Sometimes she asks for my help to pick the outfit and sometimes not. This week has been a particularly busy one, so I did not really look at her outfit of choice the other night.
So with a hug and a kiss I leave her room, it was just a bit later that I finally processed what clothes I thought she had laid out for the next day. Before I say more about this I need to talk about a couple things and one…it is FREEZING currently in our little neck of the woods and two, I know Elizabeth well enough to know that if I ventured back into that room to give my thoughts about the clothes that she and I would probably tangle, I have come to know through research about dyspraxia (and sadly through plain teenage experience) that they want to be independent, struggle with their independence due to the disorder and can be so strong willed about things. So I decided that it was better to say nothing so I didn’t
The next morning I went into her room to put on her therapy music, and I remembered THE CLOTHES!! It is time I come back to this point to let you know what the outfit was… it was a striped cotton skirt and short sleeve t-shirt. Both in varying shades of pink and grey. Yessirree, what I wanted to say was “This is not going to work, Eliz it is freezing out” but I am trying to remember so much about the stage of life Elizabeth is in and the words of Warren Fried, who said that so many dyspraxics suffer from low self-esteem, so what I said was ” This is a nice skirt and top Liz, did you want to add leggings and a second shirt?” She looked up at me and smiled and said that was what she was going to ask me. She proceeded to borrow my leggings, and black socks. I left her then with half of my closet on her bed and waited to see what this was all going to look like at the end.
She took a good while to get ready and I suspect it was due to the many layers that were challenging her dyspraxia, but then down she came…smiling…happy and in an outfit that was so original, and so simply “Elizabeth”. I looked at her and thought “my goodness, is she beautiful?” I don’t know why but that outfit to me was such a high point of the week, so many times we worry, and wonder and plan and fix and wake up and do it again. But Elizabeth has taught me as much in life as I have taught her. There is a time when to just relax, be bright, fun and original, we always hear the words “typically developing” when we read about dyspraxia or neurotypical” when the topic of Sensory Processing Disorder comes up…Are our children typical? No, Never… our children are so much more, they are wonderful and beautiful, fun and bright, just like this outfit my daughter wore to school.
Thank you Elizabeth for a lesson learned.. Among your other gifts my child you are a great teacher. Have a good week.