Friday, June 8, 2012

A Little Girl's Thoughts & Dreams

I've often wondered what my daughter's thoughts look like. You can read a little about her here. Are they pictures strung together like the symbols on her DynaVox (her communication device that's something like a tablet but a little bigger and works similarly to web pages)? Or are they flashes of images just randomly popping up, not necessarily having anything to do with each other? I wonder if she jumps from thought to thought, like she jumps from one thing to another totally unrelated random thing in waking life. For example, using her DynaVox, she will say "snack cart" but not elaborate so I'll have no idea what she was just thinking about. Next thing she does is play a song off her MP3 list, so I guess she wanted to listen to music. Then she'll say she wants to play but then the computer will catch her eye and she remembers she already asked to go on the computer. Or maybe her thoughts are like a slide show. Or just sight words.

I also think a lot about her dreams. There was only once in her almost 16 years that she woke up screaming and crying really hard and I thought maybe she had had a nightmare but of course I have no way of confirming that. When she goes to sleep I'll say, "sweet dreams" and she smiles. I've asked her in the mornings if she had lots of sweet dreams and she always smiles and nods her head yes but I wonder: did she? Does she even know what dreams are? I mean, EVERYONE has dreams, right? Isn't that what they say? So I guess it's safe to assume that she does too.

Photo is from 2003

I can't help but wonder if in her dreams she can walk and talk. I was reading something about a teenage girl who has autism. She is non-verbal too but she spells and has found her voice through writing. Someone asked her if she is autistic in her dreams and she answered that sometimes she is and sometimes she isn't. When my daughter was about 5 or so, I had a dream that she was laying on the floor, floppy, because she had no tone to her body. Then just all of a sudden, she got herself up. She just stood up. It was so realistic because in my dream we were in the house we were living in at the time and everything looked exactly how it did in real life. I woke up right then and
For that split second, I KNEW what it felt like to have a regular ol' kid and for the second time in her life it was yanked away from me. You know that image of someone standing on a rug and somebody else sneaking up behind him and pulling it out from underneath him? Yeah, that's what waking up from that dream felt like. 

I wonder if she has dreams like these. If she does, I would have to say that they don't devastate her the way mine do to me because she is always smiling when she wakes up. I mean, ALWAYS smiling. I think she knows a secret and just hasn't shared it yet. I can't wait to find out what it is!


  1. Your insight and thoughts are so sincere. I have a feeling you know her secret. She knows her mom is pretty awesome

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that!

  2. This is beautiful.... As I sit her crying... Thanks a lot!!! But no seriously, I've thought about this as well.... I guess it will always be something we will never know the answer to but her smile should be answer enough! It's sorta bittersweet you know she's happy because of the smile but you'll never find out the real answers to your questions! Keep up the great posts! Oh and I've visited that website before, it's awesome!

  3. Thanks Nusey. You're right about the bittersweet part. I know she's happy but sometimes it's very hard to shut off the "what if's" in my own head!!

  4. That was beautiful and sad also. God blessed you with an amazing little girl who has taught you to be a strong women and mother. God bless you and her.

  5. You're right, Ceci. I am truly blessed.
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  6. Your love for each other is what conquers everything else that gets in the way.

  7. You're right Gail. During the really hard times, it's the love I have for her that forces me to keep going even though every physical part of me just wants to stop.

  8. Love, care and happiness are communicated without words. They are the union of a parent and child in the inseparable bond of unconditional love. Words are not necessary as these sentiments are communicated in ways unknown to many. Your daughter speaks to you and she bathes and dreams of your love and dedication. She is safe and knows safety.
    I too often have dreams of Adam speaking and walking like he did when he was 12. You know, his words, and mine, are more profound now than they were then or perhaps if the accident never happened. We all dream and in another realm those dreams will be real...thankfully what is, is only transitory.

  9. I love reading anything you write, Phil. You're very poetic.
    I realize your dreams & mine are similar yet very different since our children's injuries occurred at very different points in their lives.
    I do look forward to the day when my daughter and I will meet in heaven (that is the other realm I believe in) because she will be able to do what she wants and be who she wants and not be limited to what her body allows her here.