Saturday, December 3, 2011

One Small Voice

Last night Daniel went to a winter dance.  It was given by the teachers who run the summer camp he went to this past year.  I wasn't blogging then, so I don't think it's ever come up here, but it was an overall good experience for him.  At the very least it got him out of the house 3 days a week!  All of the kids from the camp were invited and it was held at the high school one district over from us, where the camp is held. 

There was a DJ and snacks and a chance to see some of the kids who attend different schools.  Daniel is always up for a dance and even though it's been a very long week here having swim practice every day, we decided to go. 

The invitation said "dress up" and at the last minute I wondered if Daniel would wear a tie.  He has never worn a tie, but he always complements Todd on HIS ties and he likes to play with Todd's ties and flip them around, so hmmmmm.  I took a shot and asked him if he would like to borrow a shirt and tie from his dad.  I told him he could wear his black jeans and I thought he'd look pretty cool.  Daniel agreed very quickly.  I was only hoping the shirt would actually FIT Daniel, and I don't mean that his dad's shirt would be too big.  The opposite, I thought it may be too small....

We went up to our closet and I immediately honed in on a purple shirt and a silver grey tie that has some purple in it.  I thought it would look pretty sharp with the black pants and Daniel agreed.  Once he started putting on the shirt I realized it would be too small.  To go along with the "dressy but cool and relaxed vibe" he had going on I rolled up the sleeves (to cover the fact that they were too short) and left the top button undone (because the neck was too small).  I attempted the tie, which I did an OK job with, but not good enough.  Todd came in the door from his meeting and fixed my inexperienced tie tying right away.  The result was quite good I thought.  Here's my handsome kid.

The dance was 7 to 9 pm and I decided to drop Daniel off.  It was going to be the first time he was just dropped off at a dance.  I have always volunteered or stayed in some capacity.  The teachers gave the OK on parents dropping off.  Unfortunately, I didn't prepare Daniel for this and on the way there I said I was going to drop him off and come back.   His response was an anxious, "I will MISS YOU".  His way of saying "there is no way you are leaving me there lady!"  I was a bit dismayed.  I hadn't been planning on staying.  I haven't been feeling well this week and have been plagued with headaches.  Two hours of loud music wasn't sounding like a great idea.  He seemed anxious after it came up and I knew I had to stay. After thinking about it, I realized he had never been to this dance before and I understood his hesitancy. I was kicking myself for not being more prepared. I texted my husband and said I had to stay, upon Daniel's request.  I was starting to text him "have wine ready" to him and he texted me first "I'll have the wine ready".  God I love that man.

Daniel hit the floor immediately.  I love to watch these kids dancing.  They are the epitome of "dance like nobody's watching".  There is no self consciousness at all, they just feel the music and move how the want to. It makes me happy! 

I could see Daniel playing with his tie and flipping it around like I see him do to Todd's.  He hates to be video taped, but I used my phone to sort of act like I was taking a picture (dirty trick, I know, don't judge) and I called him over to me.  Here is what I got:

Now if you look at the beginning when he walks up to me and starts adjusting his tie at the knot.  I thought that was so cute and such a "I look dapper" move.  I posted it to Facebook and had Todd go look at it from home.  Todd texts this to me:  "Baby Bear, One Small Voice". 

I didn't get it at first.  Then when we got home I asked Daniel where that "tie move" was from and he said "Baby Bear, One Small Voice" "Elmopalooza".  I looked it up.  Here it is.  At 38 seconds in, watch Baby Bear:

How can practically everything he says or does be a snippet of something he has seen or heard?  It amazes me.  It's like everything is on one giant editing tape and he immediately sifts through the information in his brain, cuts, splices and then spews it out. In seconds.  And it is completely appropriate for the situation.  If you weren't home watching all of these movies with him over and over, you would never know that it was "from" something.  But it is.  Almost always.  It's baffling.  Yet I'm thankful for it.  Yup, I said it, I'm thankful for his echolia.  Without it, he may not be able to communicate at all.  It gives him his voice.  I'm thankful my child has a voice, a way to express himself, even if it is filtered through Walt Disney.  Many kids on the autism spectrum don't have that voice.  Their parents don't get to hear their thoughts and feelings.  While  Daniel struggles with communication daily and gets frustrated at times with his inability to tell you what's wrong, I know we are still lucky.  So for today I am feeling thankful for that voice and to Baby Bear for giving me that small moment in time. 

1 comment:

Alyse Sandborn said...

Got to swallow that lump in my throat - loved to read about Daniels first dance.