“The Way I View”, A Clickin Moms 12-Month Challenge: April ~ Friendship

I’m participating in a fun 12-month challenge at Clickin Moms called “The Way I View”. Each month a group of 12 CM photographers interpret that month’s theme through photographs, then link to each other’s blogs.

April’s theme is The Way I View: Friendship. This is going to be quite a different take on the theme than my fellow CMers, I’m sure. I took this photo of my daughter, Anna, a couple of weeks ago for my workshop, Shooting 301: Composition and Creativity taught by Sarah Wilkerson. Anna is standing at our front door, looking out the window, while holding her special baby doll, Jessie. She’s standing there watching the neighborhood kids play up the street.

Because of Anna’s PDD-NOS, her social skills and play skills are very delayed. Friends are something she desperately wants but has never really had. All she wants is someone to play baby dolls with her, but only little girls are interested in that kind of play, not girls her age. Sleepover slumber parties are something she will never experience, yet all the girls in our neighborhood her age are already veterans of the sleepover party. They are doing their nails, writing notes, putting on plays, making videos for YouTube, and creating elaborate make-believe fantasy play. It used to be that the neighborhood girls would come to play for a little while, and they would be patient and kind. But those times are long past now. They avoid her. If anyone comes over, they end up playing with Dominic because Anna doesn’t know what to do unless I stay with her the entire time prompting her on what to say.

So my interpretation of friendship is this… a girl, separated from the world by a symbolic pane of glass called autism, wanting a friend, watching friendships at work, alone.

Austin child photographer portrait lifestyle black and white autism

I know this is sad, but Anna generally is a very happy girl. She loves her family and her babies, and we love her. My mom (known lovingly as Nana) and I play baby dolls with her quite often. It’s just that I want a friend for her so much! Even just playing outside, she needs to be supervised every minute. I see a gaggle of tween girls giggling at the mall and my heart breaks. It’s a hard journey sometimes and this photo very poignantly captures that for me. <3

Thanks for looking! Now go check out Rachel’s blog!

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