Just 24 days shy of four years old, Aislynn loves life.
Today in the car she announced, " I am SO excited!" full of anticipation about the playdate we were driving to, and the new friends we would meet. She actually had no idea what we would be doing or who we would be doing it with.
"How many friends will there be?" she asked.
"I don't know," I said.
She followed up, "What will their names be?"
"We'll just have to wait and see," I responded.
On arriving to our playdate with some new moms we were meeting, all but one for the first time, Aislynn was beaming. "Ooo..they have a park in their back yard!" she announced.
Park, swing set, what's the difference right? Aislynn proceeded to play, greet some of the children, wave at the moms, and even serenade some of them with her rendition of Amazing Grace.
One of the moms asked me, "Has she always been this friendly?"
And there it was, the question I never dreamed I would be asked in regards to this little girl. It was a question I only dreamed, hoped, and prayed a little less than 2 years ago that I might be asked someday.
I responded to the mom's question, and gave a mini synopsis of Aislynn's 180 degree turn around trip from anti-social, to social extremist. The mom of course, was very surprised by my response based on Aislynn's current extremely happy and social demeanor.
On the way home I started to think back. It was one of those retrospective moments. A moment where you are outside of a particular situation and you actually have some perspective, Rays of light finally shine through. You actually find some light at the end of an endless dark tunnel. You need those moments to give you hope for the other tunnels you still might find yourself in.
And so I realized that everyone we meet and have met in our new home in Bloomington Indiana will meet my extremely friendly, sweet, smart, kind and outgoing little girl.
They will never know that this same little girl who runs right up to people eager to introduce herself, used to freeze like a deer in the headlights when other children her same age approached. They will never know that she used to refuse to acknowledge other children and actually ran away from them.
This little lover of all new experiences and people used to cry when things were not "just so" or when new people were in the mix. I even remember the Christmas after she turned 2, celebrating Christmas at my in-laws when she refused to sit at the table with her aunt, uncle, and cousins the first night we arrived. She barely made it into the house. It was so extreme, we had to eat in the other room away from everyone else that first night. Those were some dark moments.
And once again I remember dreaming, hoping, and praying that someday, someday she might become more social. I dreamed, hoped, and prayed that she would find a way to enjoy other people, tolerate new experiences, love life, and tell me all her little ponderings while eating more than 5 foods. Many days, it seemed like an unattainable goal, and merely a dream.
But hope never died. We pressed on through the sometimes very dark tunnel because we knew there would be light at the end if we could hold on to hope. Life is not perfect. Aislynn is not prefect. But she is a dream come true.
NEVER would have happened 2 years ago. Now a reality...
Reading to little sis...
Hugging little sis...even though little sis is turning out to be quite the little bully...
Fireworks, loud noises...
Trying and LOVING new things...
Loving friends, being a friend.