When she was young the reminders were right in front of me... children talking in full sentences, baby book pages I was unable to complete, the furrowed brow of our hundredth specialist. The weight of her diagnosis, the uncertainty of her future, hunched my shoulders and exhausted me while giving me energy all at once. I shrugged off that weight until I stood taller, more certain of who she was, a tiny bit comfortable with an unknown future. And then the future was now. We are here, heading to adulthood and I know. I am certain that we don't need the college financial aid application that just came in the mail. We will not be making plans for driver's education after school and I can delete every email reminder for ACT prep. I also know that I should be okay with all of this. My daughter is a happy, confident teenager who has made amazing progress. I tell myself this every time I am given a reminder of what isn't. But sometimes I am surprised at that familiar sting, how quickly it can return. I drop the college information flyer into the trash just as swiftly as the preschool roundup advertisement that mistakenly arrived 15 years ago. We are still headed in our own direction, they have the wrong address once again. The sound of ripping another unnecessary reminder is just as satisfying as it has always been. I head upstairs and stop my daughter's chair as she spins, her head tilted as she smiles. I hug her because she will let me and I need what only she can give... a reminder that life is fine just as it is.
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