If you know us, you know we've looked forward to these last couple of Sundays for a while. They're the two Sundays of membership classes for our new church, and while becoming an official part of the church is exciting, gaining the knowledge in the membership classes is, well... nigh on to exhilarating! No REALLY! We were both riveted last Sunday afternoon for the whole time, and couldn't wait for this Sunday. We got up this morning all ready to carry out our plan... CE (Christian Education, our Sunday school), church service, run out and grab fast food lunch and bring it back to church, eat, class. Then, about halfway through getting ready, I got a look at my daughter.
A green, goopy, crusty, near solid awning hovered over her beautiful hazel eye, which was itself beginning to look red. When you've been around kids at all, you know what that means. Girlfriend actually loved pink so much that it finally took over her eye, or so I told her.
So no nursery for Maelynn. No church for mommy. I was so not happy. We... um... discussed what in the world to do until we realized that it was time to go like NOW. We needed to get Ryan and Richie to CE, mainly Ryan, although Richie would be disappointed to not get to play with his friends. After quite a scramble, we managed to get all our parts into the van and on our way. I dropped Eric and the boys off, and he took care of farming them to their rooms. I was worried because Ryan had asked nervously where I was in his own way ("mommy's coming"), but another look in the backseat at my girl, and we had to figure out what to do for her.
Once it was just us chickens, as Nanny used to say, we made our way to a pharmacy on the off chance there would be something there that we could use for her. I didn't want to wait for the usual urgent care clinic we use, because they opened at one, and our class started at 12:30. There wasn't, but there was a friendly pharmacist who looked up the other urgent care clinic, which opened at noon. There's our plan.
So I picked up some lunch the guys could either heat in the microwave or just munch, ran it to the church, then made my way to the urgent care clinic. By the time I arrived, sister was asleep in her car seat. About fifteen minutes into our wait in the parking lot, a professionally-dressed, grandfatherly looking gentleman drove up, walked over to the van, and asked if I was waiting to get in the clinic. Well, yes, we are.
Although they don't open until noon, this man was apparently one of the men who works there, either a doctor or a nurse-practicioner. After asking if we'd been there before, the man asked how old Maelynn was. Turns out they don't see anyone under two... and she's two and fifteen days. These two guys and the one assistant they had worked to make us comfortable and get us in and out of there, completely without feeling rushed. So yeah, the Treat N Go on Wooded Acres is pretty cool. We're fans. But that's not the best part.
The best part was that I got to talk to someone with skin on, in front of me, who could look me in the eye, who knew immediately the kinds of exhaustion and frustration we go through without hours and days of listening to us talk about how things are... because he has an ASD child. He has a twentysomething son with Asperger's.
We shared a few battle stories.
We shared a couple of laughs.
But the best part? He knows, to a degree, what it's like.
He looked me in the eye, he listened, and said "I get it."
Then he told me something awesome. Something similar had just been shared by a dear friend of Eric's parents last night, something I didn't even realize I needed, encouragement I wasn't looking for, but needed desperately. After all the stories of school, teachers, and expectations, he told me what his son is doing now.
Working on his second degree.
He told me how his son's capabilities impressed, changed, TAUGHT, a teacher so much that she went back to school to work with kids like him.
His son changed someone. I bet his son changed more than one someone.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. ~Psalm 138:8
Yes, sister has pinkeye. Yes, going to urgent care wasn't what I had planned. But I left there blessed.
And yes, I did make it to membership class. I sat outside the door with my pink-eyed girl and listened until she fell asleep, then joined my dear Eric in class. Loved it just as much as last week if not more. Ryan did great in CE and church. Turns out he had his best day EVER today.
Now I'm not thankful that my girl is all itchy-eyed, but I am thankful for how my God used something so no-fun to encourage my socks off.
Thanks be to God, especially when the circumstances look stinky.