Slow is beautiful.
In the morning Evie gets up slowly. She gradually tests her voice with a series of little contented moans that build in intensity. Build into happy shrieks.
I listen on the monitor and go to her when I hear those little shrieks. I open the door and say, “Good morning Evie.” She is always sitting up on her bed with her legs extended straight out in front of her. She squints as the light from the hallways creeps into her room and her pupils slowly adjust.
When I sit on her bed she smiles and hugs me. I lift her body up. Because of her low tone, she melts into my body. Hypotonia has its perks. For a blissful moment, I don’t know where I end and she begins. It is one of my favorite moments of the day.
I carry her downstairs and our morning ritual ambles along.
She eats her breakfast slowly. In courses.
Her face and hands are sticky from pears as she climbs in and out of my lap.
She gets up early. Some would cringe at the hour that she rises. But I have come to love our morning routine. We don’t have to hurry because the hours until I drive her to school stretch out before us with comfortable sameness. The predictability of knowing what comes next. But being in no hurry to transition.
From Evie, I have learned to slow down. To savor the moment. The many ways in which Evie is different from typically developing children is especially apparent in the morning.
She offers me her, still open-mouthed, kisses in abundance. Uncharacteristic of her age. But wonderfully characteristic of my girl.
In the morning we are fluent in the same language. For a few short hours, I can live entirely in her world. Speaking little. Communicating in hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Almost every morning, I have a fleeting thought of keeping Evie out of school to feast on our synchronicity. But while Evie doesn’t speed up much as the day progresses, I must return to my world of fast moving.
So I don’t indulge that tug I feel to linger there with Evie. Where nothing is as important as a morning snuggle or a juicy pear. Where deadlines and appointments don’t exist. Where fast and competitive cease to be. Where just being is splendid. And where you never have to steal a kiss because open-mouthed smooches are dealt out freely and without restraint–even when you’re five going on six.