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When the Windowsill Imitates Life

posted Wednesday October 9th, 2013

I got up too early yesterday morning. Stumbling around the kitchen, making coffee, I noticed something on the windowsill above the sink that gave me pause. Two terrarium refugees (because, as it turns out, I can’t even keep succulents alive) were watching me and while the plastic toys had been there for a while, they suddenly reminded me of something. Rather, two someones.

The little bunny is endearing, loving, snuggled up against the side of the big bunny. You can almost hear it sigh with happiness, just for the proximity. The big bunny is stoic, hands (paws? what do bunnies have?) together, mouth pursed. Slightly pissed, perhaps. Definitely disengaged.

Sophie and me.

It’s not entirely true, of course. There are plenty of times when I’m the one looking for a cuddle, encouraging interaction, and even more when Sophie’s a stinker — hardly a snuggly bunny. But, you know, stereotypes exist for a reason. I know the stereotype when it comes to Sophie; I don’t want to think about where I fit into that scenario.

In any case, it was a good day to notice the bunnies on the windowsill, as it’s Fall Break this week and Sophie and I were set to spend most of the day together. It was a particularly good day, as it turns out, and it could be a coincidence or maybe I just planned our activities well, but I also think I was an iota or two more patient, more present than I usually am — and for that I thank the bunnies.

The day began with a play date (bonus: I love the mom of the kid) at our house, then we headed to lunch and the requisite Fall Break trip to the indie bookstore, where I let Sophie buy three books. Typically I limit it to one and typically no matter what the limit (or extravagance) it’s impossible to get her out of this place (I love it too) but the visit ended happily, no tantrum. We spent some extra time in the “drama” section, since Sophie’s really into scripts these days. After rejecting “Lost in Yonkers” by Neil Simon (she already owns — and often reads aloud from — “Brighton Beach Memories”) she choose “Our Town” and let me suggest “The Miracle Worker.”

When she asked (about a dozen times) what “The Miracle Worker” is about, I answered, “a girl who can’t see or hear” (about a dozen times) instead of getting exasperated and announcing, “Don’t ask questions when you already know the answer!” after the first few times. When I announced she could only buy one item at the used kids clothing store, she agreed, and we were both pleased with the sleeveless purple velvet dress trimmed in pom poms for $4.

The trip to Trader Joe’s was without incident — and that never happens. We went home and made brownies together. “Get the big green mixing bowl out of the drawer,” I told Sophie. She did, and when she noticed it was dirty (don’t judge, I don’t think there was actually food in it or anything like that) Sophie climbed on her step stool at the kitchen sink, picked up a sponge, and cleaned the bowl herself.

I’m not saying it was all sunshine and roses. I can barely make a sound in the car without my precious daughter screaming, “DON’T HUM!” and singing is out of the question. She almost went AWOL during lunch and I might have yelled once or twice during the play date. But it was a good day, a really good day. I think I’ll keep those bunnies there for a while.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

3 Responses to “When the Windowsill Imitates Life”

  1. I love this. That’s the stuff I’m talkin ’bout. It’s all there. Oh- and yeah- I love to rock out in my car. And it is not unheard of for when the complaints from my darling daughters telling me to stop singing start up, um yeah- I turn the radio up higher and roll down all their windows for a few brief moments of not-so-adult behavior. xoox

  2. I love this so much!

  3. The things I remember fondly about my mom aren’t all things she would have been proud of or thought were important. I love that she had a low voice so that I have a low voice as well.I love how her soft heart would show itself for helpless animals because she thought she had to be a little tougher to raise us humans properly to take care of ourselves and make good choices (even though she was kind, affectionate, and generous). When I was young and said I must love her more than she loved me (because I could not imagine anyone loving anyone more), she said she loved me more, there was no point arguing, and maybe some day I would understand. I love the example she set of maintaining her individuality by, for example, sometimes fixing foods that only she liked and choosing vacations that were important to her and my dad, because I was a kid and had life easy and should have been able to have fun anywhere. And that was basically true.

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