I sat at the island in our kitchen and just watched… Our oldest daughter, filling her glass with water, our middle child Elizabeth getting ice in her glass and then, she too filled hers with water, set it down, and got busy getting her evening snack. It is at this point that Emily decides to drink Elizabeth’s water….”why?” You might ask….Why when hers is right there does Emily have to drink Elizabeth’s? According to Emily, it is because “Elizabeth always takes drinks of my water whenever I have it on the island”
I continue to watch this unfold and listen to Elizabeth’s return response...I had to smile as I heard her say (in a wonderful LONG sentence, sorry I can never NOT note the word count) “Emily, leave my water alone, it’s mine…EMMMIIILLLLYYY!! stop drinking it…you have your own water!” I can see Elizabeth is getting mad as she is scraping the peanut butter out of the jar with some serious force, while looking at Emily and yelling at the same time.
I tried to wipe the smile off my face to intervene now, as the signs of anger from Elizabeth means that the teasing is now crossing some line I am sure that don’t want crossed. “Emily”, I say ” Seriously you need to drink her water?” “Elizabeth, just finishing getting your snack, I am SURE Emily will leave your water alone NOW” “Emily, leave your sister’s water alone..NOW!”
Emily starts to smile, walks over to Elizabeth, tells her sorry, gives her a hug…to which I hear Elizabeth say “It’s okay” and she hugs Emily back.
I was trying to get some work done at the island,but instead, I got to watch this interaction that made me smile, think and be so thankful. I think after reading this scenario, it sounds, well…..pretty typical of sisters/siblings, this type of scene probably plays out in millions of homes, millions of times a day…but because of our journey with Elizabeth, because of her sensory processing disorder, because of her dyspraxia, because she did not talk until she was five years old, because I would have paid anyone any amount of money to have her talk and become the friend to Emily that Emily so wanted.because years ago, this would have escalated into a full on meltdown from Elizabeth, because it ended so well, because the are friends, because all the hard work was so worth it, because all the hard work…worked. For these reasons and I am sure many more, I can look at that pretty typical scenario and feel it is just so much more.
Trust me, this scenario ended in a hug and with smiles but not all are so Norman Rockwellish… when I hear a door slam upstairs, some yelling and another door slam, I don’t revel in the interaction and smile. No usually then there is a punishment. But some interactions like the water-drinking one just makes me happy. If someone would have told me that “one day Michele your daughters will be talking, teasing, hugging and laughing”, well I guess I would have cried with the simply want for that to be true, made them sign a paper promising as much and I would have clung to it. But no one offered that out. So I want to offer out the above scenario to those at the start of the journey. That the therapies work, that successes do come, be them big or little, I want to offer that Elilzabeth, who used to cry and fear the world has become the friend Emily wanted. I want our story to offer a smile, a warm thought and hope. Have a good week.