We are reading the Velveteen Rabbit. She touches the rabbit's face with her wee finger and says "Oh, he's got rain on the face."
We're in her autism evaluation and the SLP is having her name picture cards for pronunciation purposes. She is doing well, typically three, I think. At one point she impresses us all by calling a ring an "emerald". Fancy. Then they get to a photo of a girl crying and she says "Dat's a girl!" The therapist asks, "Is she happy or sad?" No response. The therapist prompts, "Is she crying?" KayTar makes some jargoning noises and then looks around the room. The therapist taps the page on the tears. "Oh, dat's wet. Water." The therapist says "She's crying. Do you think she feel sad?" Jargon again. Then nothing. The therapist says, "That's so interesting. She is so engaged and responsive until you bring up emotions and then she's got nothing. You just hit a wall and then she turns into a deer in the headlights. Interesting."
"No KayTar, those are tears. Tears on the bunny's face. Bunny feels sad. Bunny is crying." She says, "No. RAIN. Rain on the face. It's wet."
"KayTar, are you crying?"
"Do you feel happy or sad?"
I wonder what they see, what their tests will show. I wonder what it means. I wonder why emotions are so foreign to her. I wonder why she can't translate them from herself to others. They cannot be weighed and measured. They are not reasonable. Maybe that's it. You can't memorize the ephemeral. You can't regurgitate it. It isn't knowledge to be acquired, it is an innate understanding that grows with time. But to grow, there has to first be a seed. Does she have that seed, I wonder, buried beneath the soil of her soul? Some days I think I see a tiny sprig of green peeking out, but it disappears beneath the soil before I'm even sure of what I saw. One day will it really sprout and grow? Will it stretch it's green leaves to the sun, nourished by the rain from a loved one's face, and finally bloom into the beautiful flower it is meant to be?