One of my favorite things about our house is kidspeak. Ask Richie if he wants a "boh-bee" and he'll say "huh!" Ask Ryan if he wants to watch "baker train" and he'll say "ok!" Mae-mae's are different so far... mostly she answers questions, but "doggie", "ducky" and "daddy" are all amazingly similar, so be careful. Throw in the fact that she usually calls me "daddy" and it's nice and confusing around here! But we know that Richie wanted a strawberry, and Ryan wanted to watch "Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers". We're their parents, so we've learned their language... we actually watch them develop it. Okay, we laugh too but that's beside the point!
This past week, if you keep up with the Senzig times, you know that we had an important meeting on Tuesday. Actually, it wasn't as important as I thought it was going to be. It was the "here's your paperwork so we can HAVE the next meeting" meeting. So I got my paperwork for Ryan to be reevaluated this May by a school psychologist to make sure everything aligns with what we're trying to do for him in school and at home. I put on Elmo, then Thomas, then Elmo again... we take turns at our house, thank you... and eventually between DVD's, trains, dollies, naps, and the occasional goldfish cracker (colored of course... thanks Granny!) about three or four hours later the paperwork was complete. Oh, those questions. They ask your native language about fourteen times... okay, maybe not that many. But I was sorely tempted to put "Klingon" as my husband's second language. I didn't... but it would have been fun.
Then you get to the meat of the information. After you've written your address twelve times, and checked "male" about the same, the real questions come out. Since the tests are made to cover a range of ages, there are some that make you look up and say to the empty room, "Really?" One of the questions this time was about Ryan's friends... do his friends participate in smoking, illegal drugs, alcohol, or getting high in just about any other way? I'm thinking "well, he is invited to keggers a lot, we just don't let him go." HE'S FIVE! His "friends" are other kids in Sunday school and I'm sure they're not huffing paint in between coloring pictures of the disciples. In between the monotonous and the absurd, however, we're smacked with questions that hurt. Not just our hearts, but our heads! Holy cow, I've slept since so many of these things happened. It's hard, though, to remember some of the milestones he missed, and how far off he missed them. Then there are the ones we still haven't met, and I wind up writing in tiny print so I can cram as much information about how much he's improved and the ins and outs of the problem in the short space given. Then there are the ones like "does he complain about so-and-so?" No, he doesn't communicate anything about most things verbally. If we hear of how school or anything goes, it's from the adult in charge. Yes, he's improved vastly from the time he entered the program with maybe three words, and for that improvement we are more than grateful! But to put him up against other five and six-year-olds?
And my heart sinks into my chair.
Then I look up and remember Who made Ryan. The One who made Ryan knows him better than I do. He doesn't have to think about when Ryan rolled over, or crawled, or walked, or even the first time he noticed a flower. He knows how Ryan's day at school went, even though I and even the people who watched may never know. When Ryan is visibly upset and screaming and shaking and beating his chest or head or legs and we're scrambling to figure out what the problem is while on the outside remaining as calm and matter-of-fact as possible, He knows.
So how do I find out? WHY won't he just tell me or make it STOP?!
That isn't my concern. I find peace in the fact that God made Ryan, me, you, Richie, Maelynn, and everyone to be who He wanted. I also find peace in the fact that His mind is not like mine; I am not able to grasp the fullness of His thoughts. So then, I rest in what? The changing of one word... why.
My father-in-law taught me to change "why" to "to what end?" What do you want me to get from this? What should I be learning in this challenge set before me, be it a screaming, sick, or lost child, a loved one who's gone on, a heartbreak of any kind, a stress of any kind... to what end has He, the Creator of all, allowed this in our and our son's life?
Now the real, over-arching answer is always to glorify Him. But at times there are smaller things that are for our good that we can see if we ask the Holy Spirit to show them to us. Lately, God has shown me that He does, indeed, have a sense of humor... he gave a child in dire need of routine to a woman who is about as organized and scheduled and disciplined as a herd of cats. REALLY! I'm awful! I know dogs who are more organized and disciplined. Actually, MY DOG is more organized and disciplined than I am! But in order to love Ryan the way I should, the way Christ loves me, I must learn. I will learn. No matter how many books, websites, trips to therapy, techniques... I want to know my son, and love him as Christ loves me. I want to learn how he thinks, moves, feels, hears, loves, hurts, everything!
Why? (oh, wait...) To what end?
That I may teach him to bask in the love of Christ, because His love is the best. That I may stand one day next to him and worship side-by-side with all my children, as my brothers and sisters. For now, I love having my lanky five-year old wrapped around me, playing with my earrings, head on my shoulder or wiggling and humming, messing up my hair in church as I lift him up in song and prayer, asking for God's joy and peace to infiltrate every corner of his being, making him the man God wants him to be. And that's not a burden, or stressful, or embarrasing. It's a sweet time of unfiltered, unhinged, unmasked worship... and I love it.