GB can pass for neuro-typical in some settings, some of the time. As she gets older, there are less settings in which she appears NT, for shorter periods of time. Early Intervention was/is a lot of the reason GB doesn’t constantly stand out as different. I have always considered EI a blessing. I have also always considered being NT the goal. It was my goal for J, MK, and D. It was my goal for GB. It is not my goal for GB any more. I was wrong.
I want GB to be happy. Happiness begins inside. If large parts of her daily existence are focused on changing who she is, she has to feel like what she is isn’t good enough. If left to her own devices, GB will wander around singing songs aloud. When she tries to engage other children in play, she uses a movie or a TV show that she has seen- not just as a starting point, but as a script she is unable to deviate from.
GB is most happy when dancing around, singing, or performing a snippet of something she has seen. She has other talents that she is proud of, such as gymnastics and baking, but they are hard for her. They are work. When she was 5 and 6, I liked everything she was doing as long as she wasn’t melting down. GB knew it and drew confidence from that knowledge.
GB has lost that confidence and I think, in a large part, I am responsible. In the beginning of the week, GB had a doctor appointment to discuss the rapidly approach of puberty. I was approaching it from the viewpoint of keeping the information developmentally appropriate for GB. GB is almost 9, but functions more like a 6 year old. The doctor laughed and told me not to worry about it because she was sure I would have GB caught up soon.
I have been thinking all week about what the doctor said. Somewhere in the last year, I stopped enjoying GB as she is and started focusing on the future. It is a delicate balance, almost a dance, enjoying who she is today and equipping her for her future. I haven’t done a good job keeping that balance lately. I will be mindful of my real goals for GB.
GB is a beautiful person and I would hate to lose that.