Saturday, May 17, 2014's good for the soul

Where does the time go?  Someday I hope I'll have the time to write every single day...I truly love it that much.  But for now, I'll snatch moments when I can and simply enjoy them.

This week was a rough week.  Just getting back from out of town, coming off of prom planning (did y'all see the beautiful pictures of our oldest and his date??), concerns both personal and professional for at least one of us.  Gary had to work late on Tuesday night and we all know that's teens night!

My buddy, Beth, was away this week so I was slated to handle 12-16 middle schoolers all by myself...I got this!  But wait, now I have sweet Eddie in tow.  And if you don't know our Eddie personally, he LOVES crowds!  But he loves them so much he generally gets a little too wound up.

So here I go to teens with Eddie and asking Gary to hurry on over to pick him up.  The other exciting thing about Eddie is that he is catching up.  Eddie was deaf when he came home and was about the level of 2-3 year old developmentally.  He would obediently wear what we gave him to wear, go where we told him to go, stay where we told him to long as we were watching.  Well, he's learning and growing so much he's guessed it...ATTITUDE!  And lots of it!

He has an opinion, he knows what he likes and he loves to share it...sometimes in not the nicest ways.  And while we are definitely a family that demands respect from our kids, it is delightful to see him push the envelope and give us an "Aw MOM!" complete with stompy feet and slumped shoulders when he is told no.  We often have to stifle a giggle when he does it!

But that's not what this post is about...

As the parent of a special needs child, there's a certain tightening of the chest (that's your heart preparing for the hurt) and nervousness in the belly when your special kid heads into a group of "normal" kids.  Will they accept him? Will they laugh at him?  Have you taught him how to interact in a way that will glean acceptance?  And yet you know, he has to do this.  You can't protect him forever and he clearly WANTS to be there.

So here he goes...into the mix of middle school boys and a few girls.  We are there early and as they come in he loves to give hugs.  I anxiously shout my reminder "Fist bump Eddie!" knowing middle school boys would not be into hugs!  Yet what did they do?  Hugs, high fives, "hey Eddie!"  My heart loosens just a bit.

Then it's game time...these kids are lacrosse players, volleyball "professionals," soccer dudes and gals.  Eddie wants to swing...GOOD!  The competitive nature of this crew that's better, right?  He sees they are playing volleyball and he wants to play.  Heart tightens again a little...they willingly say yes.  (sigh).  Eddie wants to serve...oh man, really?  He tosses the ball up in the air and does an overhand serve...and it sails right over the net!  High fives from the guys and they move on.  No big deal to them...but this mama was cheering like a crazy woman inside.

They have no idea how important and special there simple actions were.  We moved on to worship time and lesson time and Gary picked Eddie up and it was a normal night.

But I noticed the "safe place" that my church is for our son, I am so grateful for the mamas and daddys who have taught their children so well and for teens who are being Jesus' hands and feet just by being them.

This could have gone a different direction.  Rejection hurts and tears the soul just as much as acceptance is a healing balm.

Be the balm. And teach your children well :-)

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