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The dream that turns to a nightmare in the morning

….and then suddenly we’re there in the kitchen. For some reason, Abby is standing on the island and we are, slowly, syllable by syllable, saying words. She does, in turn, repeat back. Mon Mon Key Key MONKEY! MONKEY! MONKEY! And we all clap and she jumps up and down without any of us giving a thought to her falling from the kitchen island.

This dream, so small, probably counting fewer than a minute or two of my restless sleep, has caught me by the throat several times since then. Her voice, her repeating words, her jumping carelessly up and down as if the strangle hold of Down syndrome and autism had for a moment released their grip, should be a delight. A hope.

It’s neither.

It would all be well and good if we could stay in that dream forever. If I felt like this dream, and the even more cruel ones of her speaking without impediment, weren’t always going to be just dreams. If reality didn’t tug me awake with her clumsy hands and her big beautiful brown almond-shaped eyes. I roll over as Abby clambers up on the bed to force me into the kitchen where I will point to every other food item to her shake of the head and an increasingly angrier grunt until I knowingly pull the chicken nuggets out of the freezer, to which she points to the bag and looks up to make sure I know what she’s telling me.

At five, most her peers with Down syndrome could ask for chicken nuggets. Most mother’s could respond with a “No, it’s breakfast. That’s a disgusting way to start the day.”

Most mothers, ouch, most mothers have heard their child call them “Mom.”

It should be so sweet to have any glimpse of Abby speaking, right? And it it is, it is so sweet, right until I wake.

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