In honor of Autism Sunday, a letter to my daughter:
Do you know how perfect you are?
Your smile can melt the coldest of hearts. Your laugh fills the air with so much joy that one can’t help but share in your happiness. Your hugs tell me that not only do you love me, but you appreciate me.
Each day you surprise us. Your intelligence is so impressive. You communicate so much by saying so little. Your deep, brown eyes talk for you. They let whomever it is that you need to communicate with know what they need to know… unless you feel like talking. When you do decide to use your incredible vocabulary, I light up. I know how much you are trying. I know how badly you wish you could communicate verbally without such a struggle. I see that in your eyes too. Especially when they tell me you want more juice, a chocolate chip cookie, that you want to hog the television, or that you want to eat yet ANOTHER cucumber.
There are times that I find myself just staring at you and marveling at how pretty you are. Everybody says that you and your brother look just like me, but when I look at you I see your mother’s beauty shining through. We struggled for so long to have a family that when it finally came to be, your mother and I were ecstatic. I would not for ONE SECOND of my life ever regret having you. Autism be damned, you are my daughter. You are my light. I could not love you any more if you did not have autism and I certainly would never think to love you any less.
You have taught me so much in these six years. Because of you, I am now a fully realized man. Where once stood a sarcastic, narcissistic boy stands a man humbled and full of compassion. I know what I am supposed to do. I know who I am supposed to help. I thank you for helping me to understand what is important in life and what my priorities should be.
There is still a long road ahead of us. I couldn’t ask for a better travel companion.
I love you Bianca. Thank you.