You. You were the New Year’s baby on February 4 in our small town. The first ‘atypical’ thing about you. You were content and you loved your baths. But soon you grew differently. We knew something was ‘off’ with you. You grew sick in body but so strong in spirit. You instinctively knew how to fight and who to fight already at age three months of age. That strength remains in you today. Every second of your day must be borderline torturous. But you barrel through. Like all the time. Never feeling sorry for yourself, never dramatizing, or over reacting. Reacting exactly how you feel. Overcoming all noises, feelings and senses. Overcoming and moving on. Always.
Hannah Banana you are so loved! But because of your autism you appear aloof and uncaring – but boy Miss ‘appear aloof and uncaring’ this makes you ROCK those aviator sunglasses! “The Intimidator”. But once someone knows you – they get you. And you know it. And you never forget a friend.
You are loved but you also love. You love your family – especially your grandparents and your sister. And obvi us – mom and dad. Even though you appear not to care about your loved ones presence, we see it. Before and after. Smiles and self hugs. And loving phrases repeated. “Oh heeeeeyyy Emily!” “Thank you sooo much Nana”, or “We saw Grandma!!” But somehow being in the presence of your loved ones is overwhelming and your behaviour does not show that you enjoy our company. But we know. We know. You love. Take that wrong 1980’s doctors.
You are funny! Sometimes you try to be funny (and that is HILARIOUS!) and sometimes you just are funny without trying. Rarely you laugh when we laugh and when you do it swells up my heart! But mostly when we laugh you look like ‘The intimidator’. Neutral face, neutral expression, no words. But we KNOW when you clip the back of our heels (especially your sister) with the shopping cart that is a joke. We can tell because even though it appears that you’re not looking you are impeccable with balance, spacial awareness and ability to maneuver. And when that shopping cart hits your sister’s heels you are smiling and hugging yourself. We know that is a joke. Well played Hannah. Well played. Someone else’s sneeze sends you in a fit of laughter! You watch with gleeful anticipation as their faces distort, ready to sneeze. Throw in a two or three in a row sneezer?! Now THAT’S gold for you!! And I won’t even get into the list of words that is enchanting to you.
You are a style queen! You love pink. And you make sure we know it. I ask you, “Do you like pink or purple?” and you reply “Pink!”. I ask in another way, “Do you like yellow or pink?” and you reply “Pink!”. Message received. You love a little bit of makeup and while you hate having your hair brushed (it hurts you I know) you love to have ‘beautiful hair’. I have a variety of morning greetings for you but you insist on “Where’s my pretty girl?!”
You’re not just a style queen you are basically a queen – period! Your Majesty loves to know what’s up for her day. You listen, with what appears to be, minimal interest as I, your worker, recite your day, week or weekend plans for you. It appears that you are listening with minimal interest, but boy you are listening. Intimidator style. We know because if you ‘approve’ we see the smile and the huge self-hug! Whew! Passed.
You never judge, discriminate or hate. Like ever. You. don’t. know. how. That is continuously lost on me. How I can learn from you.
You have a celebrity crush and many crushes on cute boys in your life. I love to see you blush and play with your hair when we tease you! You should see her room. Covered with Ross Lynch paraphernalia.
You know bullsh!t and call it in your ‘The Intimidator’ way. You want a meaningful life. You know – like everyone does. Strange. Not.
You love music. You’ve always loved classical. At nearly age two when you were still unable to crawl or walk you sat in front of the speakers and listened to “The Messiah”. Years later we took you to the three hour concert where you took it all in. “The Intimidator” style enjoying an ice cream at the intermission. In a beautiful dress.
The list could be so much longer … You’ve made it passed the teen years. You are happy! You are brave and you are oh so loved! And you don’t really like bananas … “not a fan” we say.