Nani in my sunglasses

Nani wearing my glasses in exchange for candy. Also note the purely aesthetic band-aid.

Last Thursday I had an amazing morning, one that I will never forget. One that started at 3 am. One that started with me being very unhappy to be up for the day at 3 am. And by unhappy I mean grouchy, ugly, resentful, pouting, pity-partying unhappy. Not my finest moment.

At one point that early dawn I questioned (loudly) why God would allow Nani to need so much care and make it impossible to care for her. And by impossible I meant how am I supposed to do this day after day with no sleep night after night?  This Thursday morning I was very sleep deprived and feeling deprived of a life in general. Waaa, waaa, waaa. No way could I have imagined that it would turn out to be one of the sweetest mornings I’ve ever had.

Thursday I spent the morning with Nani.

Let explain why that is so remarkable since I was up anyway! Autism keeps Nani in her own world. Even when she engages in my world her autism “rules” still apply, and her visits are brief. Soon she has all she can take and she retreats, most recently under a quilt on the sofa. We work to devise ways to entice her out, but it never lasts long. Her light sensitivity from her vision loss compounds the problem.

But Thursday morning she came and stayed. We spent the entire morning running errands and shopping. I know it sounds so routine. Let me assure you it’s not. Nani has been very reluctant to leave the house the past few years except for rides in the car. She has been completely unwilling to go into stores or other buildings, or even to visit family.

I don’t know why that morning it was OK to go grocery shopping, to Target, and a few other stores. I don’t why she participated by pushing the cart and putting things in it, loading and unloading the car. I don’t know why she made eye contact and smiled and laughed all morning. I don’t know why she played a game with me and would let me put my sunglasses on her. I don’t know why she was calm and relaxed and so present.

And I didn’t know just how much I had missed her until that morning.

I’m hoping she won’t stay gone so long. I’d get up early any day for that kind of morning.

7 Comment on “Dawn’s Early Light

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