I couldn’t help but smile as I stacked the dirty dishes and carried them to the stink. In that moment I said a silent prayer of gratitude. Yes, I was grateful for those dirty dishes.
You see, my little girl independently set the table for her dollies. Each doll friend sat in a chair. Gia went to the refrigerator and pulled out the mustard and (with help) squirted some onto each of their plates. Then she decided they needed some chocolate sauce to top off their cuisine (always a solid choice, in my opinion).
If you’re yawning at this moment, buckle up because I’m here to tell you that there were so many wins in this play scheme for my butterfly. Not only was this play functional, communicative, and imaginative but it also involved food. And for a divergent thinker that lives her life with strong food aversions, I doubt very much that even if you accomplished everything on your to-do list today, it was as BIG a success as this natural moment.
You see, play doesn’t come natural for Gia. Now what I’m about to say can be difficult to comprehend for families that have typical kiddos, but there was a time when my daughter did not play. As in, at all. She spent her days from one visual stim to the next. And I spent my days trying to reach her.
So, with each dirty plate came thanksgiving, as I counted four plates as four blessings. And, I don’t know about you, but I would dine at her table any day, where authenticity and inclusion are served with each meal.