I had some shopping to do today, so Bean (my 18 month old son) and I were already in the car listening to Fresh Air on NPR when Abby arrived off of the bus from school. She is always excited when she gets off of the bus and hears "the news" (NPR) coming from the car, because it means we are off for a drive.
Abby loaded up into the car, happy to sift through the various books, toys, papers and dead leaves that she keeps in the backseat between her booster seat and Bean's car seat. She loves leaves. Probably more than I'd like her to. Don't get me wrong. I love leaves too. But I prefer them to be green and still attached to trees. Abby prefers dead, crispy leaves with stems attached so she can twirl them in her fingers. If we let her, she would collect every leaf from outside and bring it inside with her. We indulged her for a while, letting her bring in one or two at a time, but soon we were finding them everywhere. In her bed. In the bathrooms. In the toy boxes. Under the dining table. On the couch. And all it takes is one tantrum with a leaf in hand and she will shred that leaf much faster than any of us can clean up.
So, back to shopping. We went to Target and I let her choose a cheap item from the dollar toy bins. She chose a plastic microphone that makes an echo effect that does seem amplified just enough to be cool, but not enough to drive the parents crazy.
She was so cute with that microphone. Singing all over the store! Every song she knows. Needless to say people on every aisle were remarking on how cute she was. Stopping to listen. From little old ladies to teenagers. I have to admit. My heart was a gooey pile of mush as well.
I've mentioned that Abby is high functioning Autistic. She talks. She sings. She smiles. She makes eye contact. She hugs. We are very, very, very fortunate. So many Autistic kids might never do this. I count my blessings for this every day and try to remember it when I am in my darkest times trying my best to parent her through the outbursts and tantrums.
Abby loves music. She has quite a repertoire of music in her head already. I'll write more about that later. But for now, here is a video of her singing Sunday-Monday into her microphone. I heard her talk more today than I have in a while. Who knew all it would take was a plastic microphone that cost $1.99.