Who would she be?
Would her personality be any different?
Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to just enjoy typical parenting experiences like going to the store together or to the library for storytime without worrying if we'll be judged because she still struggles to communicate past "hi".
Sometimes I wonder if we'd have more friends and our days would be filled with play dates and mommy and me classes that have since been replaced with therapy sessions and preschool for the handicapped five days a week.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be able to play together without frustrations and constant meltdowns.
Sometimes I wonder what dinners at the dining room table would look like together instead of her still being confined to a high chair and eating the same meals over and over again.
Sometimes I wonder what her voice would sound like during a reciprocal conversation and not just echolalic-scripted speech.
Sometimes I wonder how awesome it would be for her to tell me how she's feeling, especially when she's sick.
Sometimes I wonder what her taking naps/quiet-time would look like instead of her being up before the roosters running around non-stop.
Sometimes I wonder what different routes and sceneries would look like when driving. That talking would be okay in the car and not cause a meltdown. That talking in general wouldn't cause screaming fits period.
Sometimes I wonder if she'll ever begin to wear her backpack, want to walk down the stairs herself without still being held, and not afraid to sit on a potty.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll be changing her diapers forever.
Sometimes I wonder if my arms will eventually fall off from pure exhaustion from picking her up constantly.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to leave her alone for more than one minute without having to constantly check on her.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll always be this "helicopter mother" that's given me anxiety at night just thinking of ways to keep my daughter safe at all times.
Sometimes I wonder if family really accepts her and loves her or are they ashamed and afraid of her because she's autistic.
Sometimes I wonder how it would feel to be able to attend a family gathering without worry that I'll be seen as a poor mom because of my daughter's sometimes unpredictable behaviors.
Sometimes I wonder if she wasn't autistic would she already be a big sister.
Sometimes I wonder if I can really be a mother to one more child because I already feel drained just raising my one.
Sometimes I wonder what life would look like without so many professionals telling me what's "best" for my child.
Sometimes I wonder if her outside therapies are truly helping her or is it just another ploy to make money.
Sometimes I wonder what she's doing while at school and if she's safe and being cared for with love.
Sometimes I wonder if I can let my guard down and trust others that they do have the best intentions for my daughter at heart other than just myself and my husband.
Sometimes I wonder about her future and if she will always be labeled autistic and if so, will that do more harm than good?
Sometimes I wonder about the career I had to put on hold to give my daughter the best chance in life and the sacrafices I've made that seem to go unnoticed.
Sometimes I wonder if my husband is truly happy and if our marriage is strong enough to overcome the perils of autism.
Sometimes I wonder if we will ever be able to have regular date nights and newfound fun family memories that aren't plagued with worry over our daughter's sensory meltdowns and safety.
Sometimes I wonder how simple things may be if I wasn't raising a child whose autistic.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm good enough as her mother. If she deserves better. That I'm doing all that I can to help her.
Sometimes I wonder a lot about the "what ifs" in life, but I also realize that despite what may seem like "a missing piece", raising my autistic daughter has brought me so much joy that words cannot even comprehend my true feelings of love, happiness, and acceptance over my sweet girl.
The people I've met, the friends I've made, the community I belong within are enough to push those "wonders" aside and enjoy my daughter to the fullest and to appreciate the life I do have right now, today.
Sometimes I wonder what our lives would look like without autism, but then again, I tend to stop myself from wondering because it's perfect the way it already is!