someone took my kid

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© 2008 – 2011 Diary of a Mom

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Last night, I was pretty well convinced that someone had taken my kid. I wasn’t sure who the adorable little sprite was that had been left behind, but man, was she awesome.

She was just like Brooke – same big brown eyes with eyelashes that would make Coco Chanel weep. Same glowing caramel skin; same impish grin when she laughed. Heck, she even had the same stable of knock-knock jokes as my kid. But something was different. Really different. Not, wow, you’ve changed your hair different. More like Dear God in Heaven this just FEELS different.

The phone rang at dinner. Luau went to answer it, and Brooke, as she ‘s done every time the phone has rung for about a year now, asked, “Who ya talkin’ to?’ Luau answered, “I’m talking to Grammy.” And then the little kid that looked exactly like Brooke said, “Can I talk to her?”

I mean, this was so obviously not my daughter. My daughter does not ASK to talk on the phone. To anyone. And Dear Lord in Heaven, this kid TALKED. Now, I’m not going to claim that the conversation was anywhere near typical. It veered pretty far off the rails a few times, but God bless my mom, she kept it going.

And this little kid that looked just like my daughter KEPT talking. She told her jokes, she answered questions about camp, she said, “You are my grandmother’ and then asked to bring her something that doesn’t actually exist as a gift when she visits this weekend (stuffed animal versions of the three piggy Supremes back-up singers on Sesame Street.) That’s when I thought the similarities between this kid and mine were just damn eerie, but still, this kid was STILL talking ON THE PHONE, so obviously she wasn’t mine.

And I’m telling you, it was just so DIFFERENT than any conversation I’d ever seen out of my baby. She was, well, conversing.

I can’t let this go without expressing my gratitude for my mom. After the phone conversation had ended, she sent an e-mail to both me and Luau.

I don’t care if Brooke’s conversation was scripted. She was magnificent!

Katie was, as usual, awesome.

I can’t even express how wonderful I feel!

Love you,

Mom

I wrote the following in response.

that conversation w brooke was AMAZING – truly a watershed moment. and she ASKED to talk to you!!! you did a FABULOUS job keeping it going – not an easy feat. made us soooo happy!
thank you for making such an effort to connect with her. it means so much. and yes, i’m crying now and can barely see the keys, so i beg you, don’t write anything mushy back or i might just dissolve into a puddle. no really. and i thank you.

I didn’t have grandparents actively involved in my life when I was a kid. And I felt their absence. For that reason alone, I know how much that relationship means.

But I also know that being a grandparent to a child like mine (or even one that looks exactly like mine but who also talks on the phone) can be challenging in so many ways. Connecting with Brooke takes some extra effort. She demands perseverance. She needs creativity. She will test your resolve. But all she really wants is your love.

I am so grateful to my girls’ grandparents for all they do to really KNOW each of their grandbabies. It’s a gift I do not take for granted.

But back to this whole Help, someone replaced my kid thing. Seriously, it got even weirder. Just before bedtime, I gathered clothing together for camp. I turned to the little girl who looked just like Brooke, as I always do, for final approval on the outfit. She looked at it, then said, “But it’s Color Day tomorrow.”

And then I fainted.

OK, not really, but I swooned a little. And then she marched off to her sister’s room, trailing more words behind her. “Katie is letting me wear her Muno shirt.” I have no idea how much time had passed because I was still standing there in suspended animation with my mouth agape when she handed me the shirt and said, “What does it say?” I snapped to in order to tell her what she already knew, that it says. “Don’t Bite Your Friends,” which I think we all can agree is good advice. She then laid it out on the floor and said, “It’s red.”

Satisfied, she walked by Luau and climbed up on her bed. He looked at me. I looked at him. I couldn’t stop grinning. He broke the silence. “Um, babe? Who WAS that kid?”

I answered, “No idea, but I really, really like her.”

After tucking her into bed and cuddling for a few minutes, we did our countdown and I headed out. I looked back as I left her room. “I’m really proud of you, baby,” I said. She answered, her voice heavy with sleep. “I’m proud of you too, Mom.”

Nope, not sure who this kid is, but man, I really, really like her.

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Ed notes:

Follow me on Twitter! @Diaryofamom

Babble.com is asking you to vote for your favorite autism blogs. To vote, all you have to do is hit ‘like’ next to the ones you’d like to see in their top ten. No registration, no request for any info – zip. Just a button to hit and you’re on your way. And, um, you may just see someone you recognize on there, and well, I wouldn’t get mad atcha if say, you wanted to vote for Diary. :) .. Click -> HERE <- to vote. Thank you!

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All images are the exclusive property of Diary of a Mom and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.

The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Jess at Diary of a Mom.

© 2008 – 2011 Diary of a Mom.

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27 thoughts on “someone took my kid

  1. Jess, I voted for your blog (yes, you make me cry daily…I think we live in the same house!) and noticed that your blog is on there twice. If you scroll down a bit from your number three spot on the list, you are there again. Someone must have nominated you again but with out the A (just diary of a mom). You have another 85 votes! That would put you at No.1 !!!

  2. By the way, this is that brick I was talkin about the other day when she did the monkey bars. They hit you right upside your head…see what I mean! They come in clumps so get your shield ready!

  3. Of course you’ve got to realize that the conversation I had with Brooke last evening was no chore for me. It was pure joy and when I got off the phone after speaking to Katie, too, I never got off of that natural “high”. It was the greatest gift to Grammy.

    I love you all so much!’
    Mom

    • My mother is the only person JP ( my son with autism) chooses to speak to on the phone. He will go on and on about his world of video games and stuffed animals, all while she listens and suck in every word. She tries to keep he conversation going so he stays on the phone. Although, I think her favorite part is the end when he says “Love you, bye!” with a kiss to the phone! Same thing everytime since he was 7. Enjoy what a special gift you have!!

      • yeah, haha, we don’t get much from grandparents other than a one question:one answer convo. it’s very hard for some and takes a person of unusually strong character and devotion to family to put in the effort it takes.

  4. Baby steps and quantum leaps. It is ever thus…

    I’m thrilled for you. Genuinely beaming with pride as if she was my own though we’ve never met… ( Isn’t she one of my own? Aren’t all these kids equally ours??? ) But even more so for Miss Mystery-girl. I can only imagine the triumph she must feel ( even if she could not articulate this emotion ) to have gotten over this last hurdle. I know there are more to come, but each one will get easier, because she knows she has done so in the past, and knows she will do it again…

    Hugs to both of you!!!

  5. How many times do I say this, “It” happens!! Or my personal fav, said by the one and only Kevin Garnett, “Anything is possible”, yep DOAM, hang on and enjoy every last moment of this milestone!!

  6. ohhhhhh WOW!! Awesome!!! I have to say: We LOVE those piggies from Sesame Street! AND the Yo Gabba don’t bite your friend episode is one of our favorites. And I’m kinda (OK very) jealous Katie has a shirt that says it!!! That is truly a break through moment. You must (and should be) gleaming with pride!! You have 2 beautiful and amazing girls!
    We had a beautiful moment last night too…Cymbie has been sick (besides the point but thought I’d mention) and antibiotics make her crazy. That’s not the beautiful part… So she grabbed my boyfriend (her Dad in every way except the biological one) and sat him on the floor. Then she grabbed my hand and sat me on the floor next to him. She then took her place in the circle and smiled. I asked her what she wanted to do…she then stood up, laughed and literally JUMPED into my arms giving me a big hug and kisses! This is the first time she’s initiated affection like that with me. She has wanted hugs and cuddles before, but only when she was scared or upset. Never just for the pure joy of love. It was awesome.

  7. That is awesome! Sometimes there are clearer days like this and they refresh your soul. K hates talking on the phone, but so do I, so it might just be genetic. She had a little friend from school actually call her and I had to feed her lines…it was hysterical.

  8. i babble voted!

    i won’t say which blog i voted for. i’ll just say: it starts with a ‘D’.

    (and it ends with a ‘m’.)

    (and it has ‘iary of a mo’ in the middle; but i won’t say which one it is.)

  9. M,

    I’m glad you didn’t give who you voted for away! That was really good. Now she’ll never know!

    Jess’ Mom (laughing again)

  10. OK, now *I* have tears on my eyes and am blubbering onto my keyboard. That is just so amazing, and you know it’s only going to grow.

    Because kids with sensory avoidance issues, who get overwhelmed by their senses? Some of them can and do grow out of it. All the time (I did). The brain really can become acclimatized and normalize over time (and with all the wonderful support and therapy you have been providing).

    I think you had better take weekly videotapes of your daughter over this next year – like every Sunday evening – just 5 minutes of her. And then at the end of the year watch and marvel at how she has grown and changed, blossomed forth.

    My heart is just bursting for you and your marvelous changeling. She will be becoming more Brooke every day, just you wait and see!

  11. I always read about your readers crying because of your posts. I’m not a cryer, in general. And what few tears I shed tend to be for my personal situation. But this one got me. Probably because I remember our moment like this. Almost a year ago. It’s just the beginning, hun. I’m so terribly happy for you and Brooke.

    And YaY for your mom, too! But, after reading your mom’s comments all this time, I have to say I’m not a bit surprised. ;)

  12. That was truly wonderful! Way to go Brooke! (AND way to go Grandma!!) Now I’m a little teary. Don’t we live for those, “Who IS this kid??” moments? I treasure when our son gives unsolicited compliments, or spontaneous affection, or has an extended appropriate interaction with a peer or an adult. Those “little” victories are so sweet. . . .

  13. The joy you were feeling just radiated off the page! What a happy, happy time for you and your family. Those fleeting glimpses are what keep all of us going each and every day.

  14. Oh wow – were you in my house last night? You just described EXACTLY what happened with my 7 year old aspergers son. He asked to talk to his grammy too and the conversation just went on and on and on. Of course, it was in typical Z fashion, talking about the new type of fence that he saw while driving today and did she know that arteries carry oxygenated blood and veins don’t? Riveting information of course! But bless her heart, she stuck with it, while I sat right next to him – completely GOBSMACKED.
    I’ve gotta start reading your blog more often, last week your letter to parents reduced me to tears and let me tell you it wasn’t a pretty cry – lol!
    I hope one day my blog will be as amazing as yours. Thanks for sharing!

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