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…

After School Conversations

December 2nd, 2014 by Ruth

Every afternoon when I pick up N from school, we have a routine of talking about our day on the car ride home. I will ask him about how his day was, and he’ll give me his day’s rating (on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being a stupendous day). He’ll even ask me back how my day was, and what I did (progress with the conversational skills!!)

Today I asked him the usual, and he thought hard for a good minute before replying that today was a “2”. Why, I inquire. Did something bad happen today?

He thought hard again, and simple said “because Ariana told Katherine”.

(Ok so obviously that was not even a complete thought or question, and I really didn’t know what to make of that… except to be grateful that he’s finally getting to know his classmates and knows who is who, which is a really big deal for him.)

Later on, at bath time, I tried to make sense of it again. Maybe something happened between Ariana and Katherine? Did they have an argument? Yes, N said. Bingo! I dug deeper. Did the teacher know? (No.) Was this at recess? (No, it was right after Spanish.) Are they still friends? (After a pause, N said he wasn’t sure.)

OK… so the fact that he can sense someone having an argument and picking up on tone and other cues/intention beyond the actual words themselves made me excited. And to be able to evaluate whether it not that would affect their current friendship status… I didn’t even know if he understood what a friendship looks like (last year he certainly didn’t, but that’s a whole other story).

And as I am mulling over these things, N volunteers a bit more. Ariana always tells people what to do, he complained. I burst out laughing because N himself is quite the dictator in his play/interactions with others, but I keep that to myself.

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.