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  • I used to feel that acronyms were my birthright. For example, my dad worked at GM for 37 years, my mom's favorite sandwich was and still is a BLT, and oh how I loved listening to OMD and ELO on my pink boombox in the '80s. I attended U of M, earned a BBA, and moved to DC in the '90s where I eventually went to work for AOL, where we ushered in the language of LOL, LMAO, and ROTFL.

    Then, in 2002, I became a SAHM to my DD 'C' and discovered that acronyms are not all fun and games. In fact, they can be a bitch. Just ask ‘C,’ who bears multiple acronyms that bless and curse her on a daily basis:

    SPD: sensory processing disorder.
    GAD: generalized anxiety disorder.
    ADHD: attention-deficit hyperactive disorder.
    APD:auditory processing disorder.

    How I despise the letter ‘D.’ I wish it would quit 'dis'sing my order!!!

    When 'C' began school, my lexicon expanded further. I learned that IDEA (individuals with disabilities education act) entitles her to an IEP (individualized education plan) under the OHI (other health impairment) label. I also learned that this doesn't mean a damn thing to 'C' for whom school is a straightjacket.

    'C' used to need weekly OT (occupational therapy), is a frequent visitor to the ENT (ear, nose and throat doc because who knew ear infections in ADHD kids is so common?!), and will probably always need CBT (cognitive based therapy).

    I cringe to imagine what other acronyms lie in wait for her.

    But here's the head-scratching, soul-maddening, frustrating thing: none of these letters describe ‘C,’ the person, the girl, my daughter.

    So allow me.

    ‘C’ is an amazingly creative, imaginative, and loving young woman who believes in mermaids, wants to raise horses in Utah, and is still innocent enough to believe the best of people. She loves to cook and bake, is happiest when wet, and can communicate more in simple sketches than words have ever done for us laypeople. She hates math, loves art and music, and is always ready try something new. Unless it's what I made for dinner.

    In short, she is my wild orchid; She may need proper care and attention, but her bloom stands out in any jungle, and is as stunningly beautiful as it is worth the love and patience it needs to grow.

    And today, she turns 10. So HBDTY ‘C.’ May you carry your bright light through this world with your head held high, and be willing to tell anyone or anything in your way to F off.
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