Remember this shot from yesterday?
Ah, art. Kid art at that. I know I told you this was uber special because we don't see much from Ryan's imagination. We hear a lot of repeated lines from movies and apps, and well, we just don't hear imagination. Where you could give another kid a pencil and a
bulletin *ahem* piece of paper in church to keep him happy and quiet, not so for Ryan.
For years, when I see work that was supposed to be things like "draw a tree" or "draw your house" we got nothing. Then we got the words "draw your house" stretched to fill the space. Expressing his thoughts through a drawing hasn't been his forte.
There are a lot of cute things about that little red man up there. The lack of a body, the super long legs, the spiky hair... all cute kid-stuff. And yes, the frown. I know. It bothers me. Eric and I talked about it, and it looks like he drew himself and Richie and Maelynn. He was having a bit of a rough morning when he drew this.
But that is still pretty obvious stuff. Look closer. Think about drawing something like this yourself, and notice what is missing.
There are sockets. There are no eyes.
Eye contact is no picnic for these kids.
I might be reaching here, but it seems to me that maybe leaving out the expressive part of the human eye was not an oversight. Rather, it is a reminder that there is something my sweet boy just can't stand about having to look in someone's eyes. It's nothing personal. It is just hard.
As a parent, one of the first things you want to instill in a child is respect of others... and of yourself, for that matter. For kids like Ryan, there is something unexplainably impossible about looking into people's eyes. When he was just two, I learned a trick from a behavioral therapist assigned to us by ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). He taught me to take Ryan's little hand and put it on my cheek. That would draw his eyes upward... or at least his face... to help him learn to show he was paying attention.
I still do that sometimes. Sometimes, I just want to look into those bold, blue eyes for a second. I want him to see his mother's love in her eyes. I wish that was a comfort for him the way it was for me.
He is better at eye contact these days. But almost always, when he chooses to look someone in the eye, there is something fun going on. When I see the most eye contact is tickle time, or maybe when I'm bringing him the iPad, and shortly before I hear the "thanks Mom" we worked so hard for.
Days are busy. Life is messy. Bills are due. Drinks spill. The calendar overflows with good things to do, and many more barking for attention. I need someone to reach down, take my hand, and remind me to look to Him for my comfort, my peace, and my reassurance. Often I need something to remind me look my Father in the eye.
Thanks be to God for his loving hand.