Some days on this journey are cloudy. Storms are inevitable when raising an autistic child. If only the storms were the kind to watch calmly and wait for its passing. But some are so severe.
Our most recent storm happened at the grocery store. Goldi and I had spent time gathering some necessaries. She would spend her earned money on a Barbie Belle doll. With her eyes on the prize, the moment of reward came. But a dark cloud rolled in.
“I forgot my money!” I told the cashier. “We have to go home and get it.”
“But Mom I want Belle!” she cried.
Goldi held my hand and looked back at the Belle Doll farther and farther from view.
Then the empty handed girl screamed “Mom, I want Belle!”
“We’ll come back. We have to get money. We’ll have Belle soon.”
It was time to take cover. I didn’t need any sort of “look” from the public eye indicating my parenting skills were way off. We needed to go somewhere private. Finally we reached the car.
The downpour came.
“No! I want Belle! I need Belle. That’s my doll!”
There was thunder. (Goldi was kicking the driver’s seat.) There was screaming. (loud as lightening) It rained steadily the entire trip home. (Goldi cried and cried.) Meltdown and Tantrum made one big storm.
In the aftermath, I was left tired and knocked down. When Goldi was at peace, I was to find my own. On these stormy days, I ask “Why did Goldi have to be autistic?”
It’s not the worse “Why?” in the world. I am not starving. I’m not confined to a wheelchair. No dear one has a life killing disease. Yet, I still wrestle with this “Why?” Why couldn’t our girl be typical? If Goldi wasn’t autistic, she would have more patience and understanding. If Goldi wasn’t autistic, my reasoning would be all that was needed in a meltdown. If Goldi wasn’t autistic, life would be normal.
Why autism? The answer is mysterious like the storm. So much in its make up: cloud bumping, electricity, moisture making, wind blowing, and many other “over my head mind boggler”s all rolled into one. Without storms, there would be no greening of the land. There would be no lakes, rivers, and oceans. Without storms, there would be no rejuvenation and new growth.
Why does Goldi have autism? The answer is as mysterious as Goldi. So much in her make up. She is imaginative, appreciative, smart, fun, funny, energetic, creative, playful, and so many other “over my head mind bogglers” all rolled into one girl. Without Goldi as Goldi, there might not be twirling and racing in the wind. Without Goldi as Goldi, there might not be bright eyed belly laughter. Without Goldi as Goldi, there might not be miracle filled dreaming. Without Goldi as Goldi, there might not be tight hugs and ear to ear smiles.
God made Goldi autistic. Exactly, His plan. Storms included. If Goldi wasn’t autistic, she wouldn’t be Goldi. Without storms there is no assurance of a glorious, hope filled, rainbow. We look for them in any rainstorm. We look for them after the storms of autism. God’s perfection and glory is displayed despite the storms. It is in clear view if we look. The sight of it is something to silence the why and marvel at instead.