there is a deep well of delight that fills my soul when i get to witness my kids and myself being who we really are in the presence of others. especially when in the midst of events where a certain level of decorum is expected, something all the grown-ups fully know. one example of this was my son playing in the sprinklers after his great grandfather’s funeral. it would take pages to paint a picture of what it is like for this boy to get though things like weddings and funerals, the challenges for him and this mom of his because of his sensory processing disorder. i will just say that at the point this picture was taken he’d already made it through the pre-funeral activities, the funeral itself, the ‘luncheon’ afterwards, and finally the graveside service. i remembering looking around wondering where he’d disappeared to, and when i saw him i just smiled and delighted in his freedom. it was such a beautiful picture of life in contrast to death. and the fact that i was able to enjoy this moment without any anxiety gave me such encouragement in how far i’d come.
another example was this year’s homecoming dance. my daughter was going with a group of friends and she approached the whole thing true to how she rolls. we’d bought some dresses a couple of years ago at the ARC and she tried them on a few days before the dance to see what still fit. she chose one of my favorites, the one that just suits her. never mind that she’s worn it before to a school dance, she’s not one to need something new. laughing with friends, she curled her hair, and pulled on the shoes that fit just right. with a cold front moving in, she grabs her favorite sweater on the way out and with a skip in her step off we go. we gather in a friends backyard for pictures, the boys playing on the tree swing while the girls talk among themselves. it’s a beautiful thing to see how much joy they are able to have correlated to how much freedom in themselves they feel.
-emily p freeman