Daily Manna

December 9th, 2014 by Ruth

Everyday I rely on God for sustenance and strength to stay afloat. I ask God to use His Word and His Presence to daily transform my eyes in everything I see.

This past weekend N was invited to a couple classmates’ birthday parties. I was ecstatic that other classmates saw N as a friend, even if N was unaware of these social connections himself. But it was so difficult to see him with his peers at these social gatherings. The differences are starting to be unmistakable. And at one point, mean spirited teasing ensued and N was unaware that it was happening, and that his disability was the actual target. I was conflicted on what to do (all the other parents sat passively and did nothing) but at the end I could not bear to watch anymore so I told the kids to cut it out. The kids stopped momentarily, only to start it up again. This time, a few parents from the sidelines spoke up and stopped it altogether. But I think had I not initially stepped in, no one would have done anything.

I find myself in on new ground with this, grappling my own feelings on this as well as how to defend and stick up for N, or how to one day equip N to do it himself the best he can. The whole weekend I was upset, angry, and consumed with helplessness when thinking of the future.

And then God reminded me that N is in His hands, and that He loves my child infinitely more than I do. That brought me comfort, to know that any past, present, and future bullying was given to God. He loves my child. He knows my child. He’s paved a way for my child. N is safe in His hands, no matter what happens. N’s circumstances don’t define him, N is who he is, and God is unchanging.

I whisper these things to myself every moment I feel shaken. God loves my child, God loves my child, God loves my child, God loves my child…

3 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back

November 7th, 2014 by Ruth

Will there be a day when I can drop my kid off at school and not be glued to my cell phone the entire school day, just in case someone from school calls? I feel like I am always “on call” in a paranoid way. Or maybe this is just being a mom, and the ASD thing just brings it to another level. Or maybe I just need to just chill out. Ha.

The teacher pulled me aside at pick-up, and gave me a couple doozies to figure out. I can tell that in each of the scenarios/situations, they are trying their best. My brain hurts from all the sleuthing. Sometimes it feels like one of those action movies where you know a bomb is about to go off, and you have only a limited amount of time to disable the bomb… and you have to think clearly and intuitively and calmly and wisely. Or sometimes it feels like I am playing “vet”, trying to figure out the problem and the context of the problem, without any clear verbal communication at all. Or sometimes it’s like I’m in Star Wars and totally faking my “jedi mind tricks” with my arsenal of tools, which are hit or miss. Or sometimes I feel like I am just making it up as I go along (which I am), in the moment.

And as I am in the shower, mulling over these things and trying to figure out the most recent challenges (I strategically had J in his crib for nap and N downstairs with homework and a snack so I could at least have 10-15 min to myself), I am feeling tired, defeated, annoyed at N, annoyed at myself for feeling annoyed, and on and on. I pray for wisdom and super natural patience from above.

 

And as I am typing this, the kids are being rambunctious and running around the house in circles and giggling and making huge messes in every room. But they are laughing and actually playing together. They run into me (literally, both of them), and “attack” me with hugs, saying that their arms are eating me, and they are laughing so hard they are out of breath. And then off they go¬†disappearing upstairs, but I can hear them through the ceiling, a fit of silly laughter trailing behind and little feet pounding¬†around. Even in my tiredness and discouragement, something is happening and it’s going in the right direction. Thank you Lord, for uplifting me.

Seen & Heard

October 21st, 2014 by Ruth

I didn’t realize I felt like an invisible parent until this morning. When I met a social worker in an intake appointment to see whether a certain social skills group/program would be a good fit for N. Not sure if it was because she was an MSW (like me) and we were speaking the same language and had the same outlook/perspective/values. She was trying to get a feel as to what N was like, and what I was like with him at home, and after some sharing, she interrupted me and said, “You have been doing this from day 1, haven’t you? Being a mom slash therapist?”

And then she proceeded to tell me all the little things I was doing that led to N’s current success and I was so overwhelmed that I nearly broke down in tears of relief. I had been seen and heard.

I doubt I am the sole reason my son is doing as well as he is today, but it is nice to not feel invisible and that the work I do at home on a daily basis, is not invisible either.

I am not alone, I parent with a Heavenly Father who guides my paths, while I plead for wisdom every step of the way. And every once in awhile, He lets me know that I am doing a good job, despite how I am feeling that day/week/month.

Empathy & Taking Initiative

October 21st, 2014 by Ruth

J was sniffling in the kitchen (after a stern scolding from me). N walked in and watched J for a moment, before speaking up.

N: J, how can I help? (Scripting per Daniel Tiger’s episode about saying sorry)

J: (sniffling and pouting). Nothing.

N: How can I help…? …Do you want a tissue?

J: (sniffling) Yes…

N: (runs to hand him a tissue) Want to hold a letter? (Handing J a toy letter)

They ended the conversation by running together into the living room to play. I was left in the kitchen, astounded by what I just witnessed. I tried to leave them alone to let the situation form and develop organically (without any prompting). But occasionally I poked my head in the other room just to check on them. The room was a disaster, but they were happily playing side by side.

To a regular mom, this may seem like a non-event, but to me, this interaction required a lot of complex things going on. I am astounded and encouraged at the same time. I can’t believe this is happening!!! =)