Last week my dear friend Jess suggested that we take our daughters, Katie and Hope, out for some special fun. It would be just for them – and us! – with no autism to think about. We called it “typical time.”
It was to be Hope’s first American Girl experience (and mine).
So we got dressed up, just the two of us, and met our friends for dinner in a VERY girly, very pink house of dolls. If you know anything about Hope you know that this scenario had her over the moon. Truly, it was all too much for her to take in at times.
The girls were long lost sisters. Hope absolutely adores Katie, and Katie showered her with attention and showed her all the American Girl ropes. Even a store clerk called them sisters, and I couldn’t help but think of their other sisters at home. We have them – Brooke and Rhema – to thank for these friendships, for bringing us together.
Katie and Hope were silly and sweet…
they laughed and explored…
and ate way too much pink sugar…
Katie patiently helped Hope pick out a doll. They got her glasses. They got her hair done. They got her ears pierced. (Yeah, I’m talking about the doll.) Hope tried to keep a straight face, but she could barely contain the Wheeeeeee! inside.
Jess and her family have heaped blessings upon my family. They have a way – every single one of them – of stepping in and creating magic and giving my girls the sweetest memories. And then, as they go on their way, changing the world, they thank me. (Huh?) I am stunned by the way they care for us, the way they generously give to us. Often, I find myself standing back just praying that God will bless them as they have blessed us.
Our outing could not have come at a better time. We have been in an all-out crisis at home, with autism impacting every aspect of our lives, nearly every moment. The dinner, the dolls, the pink, the fun and laughter, the chocolate and raspberry sorbet – it was all meaningful and refreshing and even healing for Hope and me. Down to the rainbow sprinkles on our marshmallows.
For us mamas, it seemed like God’s little way of whispering comfort and love: I see you. I know it’s been hard. Tonight, breathe. Just enjoy your girls.
So my sister-friend and I did just that.
We enjoyed our girls.