Saturday, July 15, 2017


Monday through Thursday this week, Ayden Jane went to camp. I went too, as one of the parent chaperones. Ayden Jane did amazing. Four full days of nonstop action. The days started at 6:30 and did not end until at least 10:30 pm. She had a few moments where she struggled, but I thought she would just crash at some point before camp was over. You know, fall asleep in a moment of free time or curl up in a corner during the late night activities.

I watched her ... There she was, acting like a typical kid. Dancing and singing. Playing all the games. Following the instructions, getting to all the groups she was supposed to, living by the moment as nothing was predictable, interacting successfully with other kids her age, managing her meals in the cafeteria and snacks. The joy on her face as she was learning how to be a typical kid.

What I really wanted in the moment was to be able to enjoy/rejoice with someone else who completely gets what a miracle the entire thing was. I mean, it sounds a little crazy to get over the top excited about your kid being average if you haven't lived the special needs world. And quite honestly, she was average when she was truly firing on all cylinders. There were plenty of times she was just hanging in there, but that was just as exciting! It's not like she was doing something amazing. She did not win a Nobel Prize nor did she make an Olympic team but I wanted to celebrate like she had done both. I will never be able to put into words the millions of subtle miracles that were taking place in front of my eyes.

Six months ago I would not have imagined she would successfully go to camp. I mean I would have let her go. I would have chaperoned but I envisioned it would be a painful experience for me. Watching as she struggled to keep up and not be able to no matter how much effort she put in. She would have cried... likely several times. Not from being homesick or even from other kids being "mean" as she couldn't communicate effectively or follow directions. They would have been tears of frustration. Tears of exhaustion. Tears of confusion and misunderstanding. There would have been activities missed because she would have needed to sleep. She would have willed herself through it and enjoyed some of it, but it would not have compared to how much she loved camp this week.

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