They say that conversations in the car are always the best with your kids. Somehow depth can be more easily reached when there is the distractions of the world whizzing by. There is an ease in which the topics and exchanges flow.
Without hesitation, she blurted that a guy at her day program thinks she is cute and wants to be her boyfriend. Oh boy. I smiled and mumbled something nice about it. Meanwhile in my mind flashes of images kept coming. I could heard her voice talking about him and even moving on to other topics, but my mind still lost in a movie of images.
I saw her holding a boy’s hand. I saw her dating. I saw her wanting to be in a relationship. I saw myself struggling to explain to her things I cannot even being to explain to myself about her genetic anomaly. I felt the heartache of realizing that she may in fact understand, and ultimately feel, loss about her body. I knew with conviction that she has every right to be loved and to love. I saw her in a supported living environment with other adults with cognitive disabilities. I saw her heart get broken.
I pushed this all aside. I could not bear to talk about this to anyone. I needed to process this and look within. I knew for sure that I was stuck within a world of fear and a world of allowing every opportunity for her to feel whole. I realized that I desperately wanted her to remain my girl–the one who collects coloring books and loves cartoons.
Just as our life in public school is coming to an end and the relief from years and years of advocacy comes to a close, another door is cracking open and beyond it is much bigger and much scarier. The threshold to this doorway is terrifying.