“You’re quiet, are you ok?”

That’s what my husband used to ask me every single morning when our daughter was away on a sleepover.

“I’m ok because I’m quiet,” I’d answer.

Those sleepovers were never about the chance to have a lie in, and they were rarely about the chance to dress up in the evening and go someplace fancy, or stay up until after 10pm.

No, the purer magic of those sleepovers was the quiet of the morning. The ability to wake up naturally and sit in silence, to hear my own thoughts, to breathe deeply.

The quietness was the magic.

Because raising a child with extra needs is often not lacking. It’s often about abundance. An overwhelming abundance of noise, from before sunrise until after sunset. An abundance of being touched. An abundance of mummy, mummy, mummy, and an abundance of guilt for considering that overwhelming when we waited so long for her to talk. An abundance of sharp elbows and flapping arms (which smack my face at least once a day). An abundance of emotions, each one experienced like the utter highs and lows of a rollercoaster.

My husband has learnt now that, yes, I’m okay.

The quiet is the okay.

The quiet is a pause, a comma, that allows me to recharge ready for the wonderful, overwhelming, intense abundance to continue.

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