Life is full of expectations for this family that we can’t meet, which gives us an unlimited number of opportunities to carve out our own path as a little tribe. I need to find more joy in these moments but sometimes it’s hard to be happy about it from the beginning. I think this is because many of these moments still surprise me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten good at holding my head high, adjusting to what my autistic son needs, and finding the joy in this life. However often after the moment has passed for my son I often have a moment of mourning. This moment of wishing things were different usually only lasts 5-10 minutes and then I can go back to loving this special and unique life I get to be a part of.
These moments are complicated and the emotions are messy. I love my children and all the individual moments I get to share with them. I love the creative and often silly perspective my son, Mr. L shares with me. But sometimes I think, it would be nice if I didn’t have to make sure someone is watching Mr. L with special care, that he could blend in with his peers, that he could simply see what the other kids were doing and do it too. I wish when people asked if my first born wanted to participate I could tell them yes, but I just don’t know.
This past Sunday at church the primary teachers helped the children put on a program for the congregation. The primary president asked if Mr. L wanted a speaking part and I didn’t know. She was sweet and asked if he wanted a seat on the stand and if he wanted to participate. I didn’t know. I’m grateful he was remembered and was invited.
Every year Mr. L has been invited to participate in the primary program and some years I have sat on the stand with him. Another time we sat on the first pew at the front and he went up when he wanted to sing too. But these moments usually ended in him running from the room with his hands over his ears because he didn’t quite appreciate the singing skill of the kids who were happily waving to their parents in the audience or pretending to fall asleep so they didn’t have to say their parts 😉
And this past weekend we met a new milestone for Mr. L. My husband and I asked if he wanted to go up with the other kids and he said no. He sat next to us and drew pictures of his brother talking at the microphone, and then when it was over he asked to go home instead of staying for 2nd hour.
There was no screaming, no climbing around the chairs, he used his words and made appropriate choices. I’m grateful for this growth. But a part of me feels a little sad watching his younger brother sit on the stand and read all his parts perfectly and while I watch his even younger sister sit and wiggle with her class at the front of the room with the other primary kids.
But that’s why it’s complicated. Because I loved watching Mr. C get up and with all the confidence in the world preach his truth. I laughed watching Little Miss A struggle to sit still because as she put it, “She had better things to do”. And I felt gratitude that Mr. L wasn’t struggling to a breaking point sitting next to my husband.
And don’t worry, I did end up taking someone out early. It just wasn’t Mr. L, it was Little Miss A. Curls, lace and all got literally dragged from the room kicking and yelling claiming she needed to talk more in the mic and that she had better things to do. Man it can be hard being 3 and because we have to keep things interesting right?
No rest for this momma 😅