The paper is bending in my hand and he is looking at me with apology because he is an expert and knows surprise is not her specialty. She is heading for the door and I am telling her it will be quick and she will do great and what does she want when it’s over? I am folding and refolding the lab order because she is too big to pick up and if I reach for her she may push me away and I wonder if the tension in the air will weigh me down as my walk turns to a run because she is leaving for I don’t know where.

She is talking about volunteering on Friday and wearing a band-aid and why, why, why do these things happen to her? I am explaining that it is just once and what would she like afterwards and I hear the doctor say he will call the lab to prepare them and she is still talking and I am trying every trick I’ve stuffed into worn pockets but even though it is today it could be years and years ago. It could be her motioning to the fridge or ehh, ehh, ehh-ing at the front door and me holding up cheese or milk? Asking does she want to go to the park or to school or to where? She can’t tell me and I can’t help, she paces and I follow with only damage control to offer.

We are upstairs and downstairs and to the parking lot and the lab and to the parking lot and wonder of wonders back to the lab again and she is finally, finally in the chair because there is a yellow tube and yellow is her favorite color and oh-my-gosh break all the lab rules and use that yellow tube for her blood. I am glaring back at stares and mouthing the word “autism” to people carrying genuine concern and counting the tiles on the floor as she grumbles at her band-aid and wonders what do they do when people have a latex allergy because everything in this place has latex.

Clicking her seat belt she asks what is for dinner because she is talking with me now.

I tell her whatever she wants and pull out of our parking space,

because she can hear me again.

4th birthday


Linking up with just write because sometimes there are words you just need to string together and place somewhere.



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    • says

      Thank you so much Jackie, I try my best. This was one of those days where I felt so inadequate so your words truly mean so much.

  1. says

    I so understand this anxiety. You are perfect for accepting your place in her world and doing whatever it is you have to do to make her comfortable. You don’t have an easy job but you make those kids feel tremendously loved every single day.

  2. says

    I stole your tag: “Linking up with just write because sometimes there are words you just need to string together and place somewhere.” for my first “Just Write post. I hope that’s okay. It says it well.

    This was a nice read. Enjoy BlogHer. :)
    shannon recently posted..are you my bouquet?

  3. Debi says

    Hmm, I can’t say that you captured her perfectly, but that pretty much describes every lab enounter I’ve had (well, not the favorite color being yellow) but certainly the angst and no, it never did any good for anyone to talk to me either. Of course, their multiple attempts to hit my rolling veins didn’t help much either.

  4. Alysia says

    The “because she can hear me again” got me too. I can feel what you felt. And the stares…oh, they should know better shouldn’t they?
    I’m sorry it was so hard for you both.
    Alysia recently posted..New York, New York

    • says

      They did, thank goodness and that is exactly it. It is hard to watch her go through the angst of it all and know her wheels are turning but she just can’t process or be present right then.

  5. Courtney Kirkland says

    You always have a way of bringing your readers to the scene you’re describing. I (again) felt like I was right there standing by and watching the whole thing unfold. You are such an amazing mother.
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..Brothers

    • says

      So true, my head was spinning and it was one of those times when I felt like I wouldn’t feel better until I sat down and wrote it out.

  6. says

    Wow. I felt like I was there. Very vivid description of your daughter’s experience and both of your feelings. Thanks so much for sharing. I took my son for blood work a few months ago and surprisingly he was ok. Well he cried but at least we were able to get it done. I wonder what it will be like for him next go round.