I have heard that some children on the spectrum have an affinity for windows.
Mine is one of them.
Drawn to the sun, drawn to the light, we often find her gleefully standing on a sill with her body plastered to the pane. The curtains have been brushed aside (or yanked down) to welcome the full rays of the sun. The bigger the window, the better. Even at the hospital a few weeks ago, she spent so much of her time standing in the window.
On several occasions I have found her, naked as a jay bird, dancing in the window that happens to overlook a busy street in our town. I can only imagine how many people have seen my strange little girl dancing in the buff to her own internal beat.
Her arms raised, her fingers keep rhythm with her toes. Sometimes she tilts her head and squints her eyes as she moves. The light shining on her angel face… oh, she is serene.
As her mother, I admit that I do not always understand my window-dancer. She is mysterious to me in so many ways. And of course, she cannot (or does not) tell me why she does what she does.
But I try to guess. I try to imagine the world as she experiences it. To see what she sees, and hear what she hears. Feel what she feels.
I imagine that the outdoor sounds come muffled to her ears through the windows. She often tries to hum along.
Sometimes she can see her reflection, and it seems like the only time she is comfortable with it.
There are window tiles in our house with stained glass colors, and as she bounces up and down on her toes, I surmise that she enjoys watching the outside world blur in shades of blue and mix with bright yellows.
The diagnosticians have said that she lacks pretend skills. But I believe that as she peers out the window, she is dreaming of the playgrounds she will escape to, the hills she will climb, the roads she will run, the rocks she will unearth, the grains of sand she will study, the blades of grass she will flap, the crisp air she will breathe.
And the feel of the sun’s warmth on the face and body? Who can pass up the pleasure of that hazy, bright glow? For some it saps, for some it invigorates. For her, I believe it is a response to intensity, a total sensory experience…
I had sprinted upstairs to grab something. The weight of the world on my shoulders, it seemed. Weary. So much work to do, so little time, no time to think, no time to rest. The sunbeams through the bedroom window slowed me.
I stood still for a moment.
Oh, why not?
So I climbed on a bench beneath the window and allowed myself to bask in the glow. I raised my arms, squinted my eyes, tilted my head, hummed a little hum, and danced the Rhema dance.