What a day we had today! It started at Central Park where we were meeting my grad school friends to celebrate our 15 year SAIS Bologna anniversary (for those of us who live in NYC and who couldn’t make it to Bologna). It was a hot and muggy morning. But Lily and I had a great time catching up with old friends.
We spent hours in the park – eating, dancing, singing, crashing other people’s parties and listening to live jazz. On the way home I took Lily for a late lunch to Playa Betty’s (her favorite restaurant on the UWS) and then we walked over to Riverside park. You see, we were on a quest to feed the birds. This is something she requested to do earlier in the week. Alas, no birds were to be found. But we will try again tomorrow. I hear we may have another day of summer weather.
Almost daily, that phrase pops into my head – Lily needs time to be Lily. Her very first ABA therapist, Ann, said this when Lily was only 18 months old and it struck me – even then. This kid spends most of her days working – trying to do things that you and I take for granted. Like picking up a fork and putting it to your mouth, walking a straight line, talking. And you know what? Sometimes all the work has to just stop. Lily needs time to do the things she wants. So every day, I try to give her that opportunity. This evening, I took her out to dinner to celebrate the end of a busy week. She chose the restaurant. And then afterwards, she chose where we walked and what we did. Tonight we crashed a jazz concert. Who knew this kid liked jazz??? She won the hearts of everyone in the crowd, including the musicians. She has a way with people. So what else does this kid like to do?
- Making friends with fellow diners, and trying to get some of their food
- Cuddling up to cute guys with iPads
- Running down the street while listening to her favorite tunes
- Practicing stair-climbing
- Admiring every shiny car wheel she sees
- Looking at flowers in bloom
- Sometimes wanting to hold my hand
- Sometimes giving me cuddles and kisses
- Tummy patting
- Wading through puddles
- Looking up at the trees
Watching her – completely content in activities of her choosing – makes me so very happy. Sometimes I feel like the luckiest mommy in the world.
Earlier today, excited about the school dance she was about to attend!