Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Greatest Day of My Life...

When you ask someone to tell you about the greatest day of their life you will usually get one of these answers: birth of a child, day they got married, watching their child graduate, etc... Now, ask my youngest child that same question and these are some of the answers that you will get: release of the newest Pokemon game, her birthday, riding a different bus home from school, getting a digital copy of a movie placed on her iPod, etc...

My daughter, Hayley, is on the autism spectrum. How she views the world is very different from "the collective norm" - and that poses a whole basket full of issues that we deal with on an almost daily basis. When the opportunity presents itself, my husband and I try very hard to explain to her why things are done or said a certain way, so that she won't stick out in a crowd.

Hayley has "the greatest day of her life" days on a regular basis. One day, after another one of these moments had come, I decided to share with her what people "normally" mean when they say that phrase. She listened to what I had to say, said okay, and went on her merry way. (I am pretty sure that she did not hear one word that I said because this was the greatest day of her life - the newest Pokemon game was coming out...)

After she left, I got to thinking - Who was I to tell her what "the greatest day of her life" has to be about? There are no steadfast rules of what the greatest day has to be? Heck - there is not even a limit on how many someone can have, is there?

Instead of looking at her not fitting in with "the collective norm," I should have been looking at what a gift she has been given. My daughter truly appreciates all those moments in life that make her feel wonderful. She is a genuinely happy child. How many of us can say that we are happy with all the small things that come our way? I can truthfully say, not me... And that is sad.

My goal is to have the greatest day of my life every day. What made today the greatest day of my life is that my youngest daughter gave me the most beautiful gift - the gift of appreciation for all the small things that make life wonderful.

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