Friday, November 8, 2013

Who You Are

We sat down at the Parent Teacher conference with hopes of hearing good news. What I didn't realize at the time, was just how good the news could be.

They love my girl. Diva Girl has won the hearts of the entire school, it seems. Her two teachers, one regular education and the other special education, were eager to show us her progress but also to just talk about her personality. And let me tell you, the girl has personality. In fact, one of the first things said about her is that "She has such a big personality!" Ain't that the truth. The other words phrases we heard? "I love how sassy she is!"  "All of the kids love her." "She is so full of spunk!" "She is a hard worker, she loves to work." "She is so smart."

Those words just filled me up to the gills with pride. 

Yes, Diva Girl has autism. Yes, she has struggles. But that isn't what we focused on. We focused on these other words, these other descriptors that show every bit of who she is. I felt like they could see her. Not just her disability, but the whole of her. I am in no way ashamed of her autism, but she is so much more than just one label. She has many labels, many words that make up who she is.

All I want are for people to see them. Truly see my kids for who they are. I want them to see Diva Girl's sassy confidence. I want them to see Rascal's sweet heart. I want them to see Vlad's inquisitive mind. There are so many words to describe each of them. Smart, contemplative, beautiful, funny, silly, eager, hyper. She is a daughter and a sister, they are sons and brothers. They have depth and character and the capacity for so much more than one word could ever convey. 

So, when people see what I see in them, I get pretty excited. Really, I think that anytime anyone is truly seen for who they are, that is a beautiful thing. Diva Girl has no qualms about showing her truest self to the world. In her childish honesty, she has won the affection and love of everyone from the kids in her classroom to the vice principal. I couldn't be more proud.

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