I woke up my daughter, Sophie, much like I do every morning. I knocked on her door (not that she cares, just as a courtesy), walked over to her closet, picked out what she was gonna wear for the day—a lovely royal blue ensemble—and went to the edge of her bed.
Now, mornings with Sophie can go any number of ways, as any parent of an autistic child will tell you. There are the nights when she doesn't sleep solidly (awake at, say, 4:00 am, clapping and laughing) and, as a result, wakes up a clingy, weeping, inconsolable terror. There are the times when I'll open the door and find her stripped of her pajamas, sitting on her dresser making faces at herself in the mirror, reciting dialogue from an episode of Dora the Explorer she saw three months ago.
And then there are days like today.
I walked over to her bed and she was laying there, head on her pillow, eyes fluttering open. She looked at me, smiled and—in a rare moment of clarity, where the fog that she lives in lifts—she said "Daddy!"
Parents of typically developing children get this every day, but for us...this is rain in the desert, a candle in the dark. This is magic.
So, yeah, today started well.
Of course, while running to catch my morning train, I split the crotch of my pants wide open. Even so, sitting there, balls exposed to the elements, it was still a good morning.