My father is off hunting today with some guys from Lansing. I’m really ok with the fact that he has more friends than I do.

Let’s talk about these Letters to Rylie. Your response to them is so encouraging. I have always expressed myself best in writing. Please take this into account upon meeting me. Writing is very safe and requires little eye contact. When Rylie was born, I wanted very much to keep track of the little things and the big things, but I am not the ‘baby book’ kind of girl. Letters seemed most natural. I put them in a real envelope with a real stamp and I mail them… back to her. Someday, I’ll give her a box and she’ll be able to see the postage and my handwriting and read a little of what her life was like through my eyes.

Words are powerful. Handwriting is scarce these days and will be even more so when our kiddos are grown. I encourage you to do some writing of your own. Start now. Send postcards or letters or concert tickets. Save the envelopes in a box or photo album dedicated to your little one so they are easily found. Letters are concrete pieces of time. Don’t try too hard. You don’t have to be a poet or funny or spell well… you just have to write. Go for it.

Dear Rylie,

You and and I grocery shop on Tuesdays after your therapy pre-school… around 10:30am. The store is relatively empty, which helps with my sanity and also allows you to run through the aisles with wild abandon. This is also the time that a small group of special-needs adults shops with their mentors. Always with lists in hand, they buy their food for the week and chat about what’s on tv that night. We’ve come to recognize almost everyone.

In the back of our store is a set of aquariums where hundreds of fish swim round and round. You love these fish. Every one of them. FSSSSSSSS, you say. It’s awesome.

I have little pride when it come to you, Dearest. Two weeks ago, I found myself lying on the floor of the milk aisle prying you loose from the bottom of the cart. You wanted to be where the dog food was… and got seriously stuck. A better mom would have prevented this entire scene… but you do the funniest things, Child! Whatever you need. Anytime. Last Tuesday, we headed to the back to see the fssssssssss. We slowly walked around the kiosk, carefully looking in each tank of fish. When we got back to the beginning of our circle, you crouched down in your catcher’s squat and began tugging violently at my jeans. You wanted me to join you… down there. Whatever you need. Anytime.

We sat there for a good 5 minutes, Ry. Me and you. Watching the fsssssss. Pointing at the fssssss. Clapping for the fsssssssss. Our claps were much louder than I expected. As I turned around, I found that 3 of our Special Friends had joined us on the floor. And there we all were. Taking a break. Cheering for Nemo. Sitting on a nasty floor in Meijer with not a care in the world.

I, of course, started crying. First, because you’re awesome and then because of our sweet ‘guests’ and then because of the nasty floor. You’re amazing, Ry. Technically, you are still a year behind your peers in motor and speech skills. But you continue to thrive in your own little world. You make me do things I never thought I would, you make me think things I never thought I could, and you make me a better person for all of it. Thanks for bringing up to your level.

Love, Mamma


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

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