We have known each other for a little over 3 and a half years and we have NEVER been out together, just the two of us. It’s not that we don’t have the time, I mean we have thought about it, but we just never thought it would be possible. You see, I have a 3 and a half year old little girl with autism and we have never been on a date…
This morning Chris took Taleah for a Daddy Daughter day out and they headed off to the movies. I did a bit of house work and dressed Emmi-Belle to do a quick grocery shop. Going to the grocery store with EB is always an unpredictable experience and more often than not it ends in a melt down and me looking like a crazy incapable mother dragging my screaming kid out of the centre. BUT I was feeling somewhat adventurous today and I was up for the challenge.
We got dressed and headed down to the local shopping centre, so far so good! As we walked into the centre it seemed slightly busier than a usual Sunday and the shops that are normally closed were actually open. There was a buzz of activity in the air. I instantly looked and Em expecting an overwhelmed look on her face but instead she was looking around and taking it all in. (Note: she did have a Lacey Lane head wrap on from last season that she wears over her ears to muffle out the sound at the shops. #practicalandcute!)
Wow she was doing really well! As we walked through the centre I spotted a cafe and my mouth salivated, it was 10am and I had not had my daily caffeine fix yet, just a quick takeaway will do. As I walked towards the counter I thought, maybe, just maybe, I could attempt to have a coffee date with my little girl…
We ordered and picked a table. I opened her popper as her eyes lit up. She slowly sipped her juice while I slurped down my coffee not knowing how much time we had. We didn't converse, I simply sat and watched this perfect little human that I had created. She took her time as she perfectly lined up the sugar sachets on the table while swaying back and forth in her chair, staring into space and laughing an infectious laugh all the way from the bottom of her belly. She had an audience as the elderly couple behind us watched her and smiled to each other. I laughed and smiled with her and I felt my heart puff up in my chest. We were bonding, bonding in a way I had always thought impossible. There was no forcing her to sit in her seat, no tantrums, no judgmental stares from passers by. For 15 minutes we just sat together and it was magical.
If you had asked me 4 years ago what my perfect date would be with my kid I probably would have said a day out at the theme parks then dinner and a movie. However, Autism has taught me, there is beauty in simplicity and to appreciate the small things. I don't just appreciate today I will cherish it for eternity as today was our first date and I can’t wait for the next one!
Love Nik xx