Just like every other North American family we have been capitalizing on the few warm, pre-spring like days, we have had the past few weeks. After being cooped-up inside for an entire winter these days are so delicious. So, it was the first time we have seen Mia outside in quite awhile. She was not impressed. She stood inside peering out at us through the sliding glass door. Every minute or so she'd stick a foot out, let it touch the deck, then jump back in while screaming. It was as if she was saying "I know something is going on out here, I don't want to miss it, but I just can't do it people!"
She did this stick a foot out and run back in thing for about 5 minutes. Nick and I looked at her every so often, and cheered her on saying, "Come on out it is going to be alright". Finally she made it completely out onto the deck. She looked down at us smiling and laughing. Guess she finally realized she would not vaporize or melt in the mid-day sun. Then she really hit her stride. She came down the deck steps and into the backyard!
When she made it into the backyard, I really started watching her to see what she'd do. Last year at this time, we were just starting to realize that Mia might have autism. She would pace back and forth over the stones in the landscaping or sit and play in the dirt. She was terrified of the swing, and could only tolerate the slide. I remember watching her from inside the house, picking apart each aspect of her behavior. I tried to rationalize the autism away by telling myself she is a girl, not a rough and tumble boy like I am used to. There was no escape from her impending autism diagnosis. I tried to reject it, but very slowly had to accept it instead.
So here we are almost a year later. Mia is making progress all the time. She is becoming far less anxious and much more exploratory. She is beginning to use her language more, and is putting two and for the first time yesterday THREE words together! It happened while outside of all places. I was pulling her in her wagon when I heard it. At first it was only a whisper, and I had to stop and listen to make sure I really heard it. Then she said it again a bit louder, "Go faster Mommy". My mouth hung open for quite awhile and I finally realized that I had come to a complete stop while I stared at her. She glanced at me and said it again, "Go faster Mommy". So man let me tell you I went fast. I can already see she is going to love those Hersheypark rides.I went in circles through our backyard speeding up and slowing down. I had such fun with her. That's the thing about autism. It teaches you to appreciate every little thing. Every word, every skill mastered, every accomplishment.