There was plenty on the family plate Friday and Saturday. All good, but even good-busy can be tiring. I will say that I prefer good busy to bad busy. This was definitely good busy!
But it was busy, and busy often means an "oops" here and there.
Normally, I immediately check Ryan's "Goat Book", the cute mascot-monikered, three ring binder that comes home in Ryan's backpack. Every afternoon, before we do anything else I know to check the Goat Book. What homework we have, what notes should come back, that kind of thing. Friday, in a fit of forgetfulness, I didn't even open his backpack.
I know. For shame!
He never has homework over the weekend. I guess I've conditioned myself to know that. Yeah. That's what we'll call it.
Either way, somewhere between Friday's therapy appointment, groceries, the game, our day trip Saturday, our usual Sunday, and Eric being wonderful and making lunches Sunday night, I didn't check it.
Every day has its challenges. At times, it seems that we might just be spinning our wheels. The things that were making major progress seem to wane. The things that frustrate Ryan and all of us raise their ugly heads, and in a sea of anxiety and fear we choke and sputter and struggle to get a breath.
We dig our heels in the sand and insist that there is reason to be glad in every day. This is the Lord's day. Yes, Monday through Sunday, not just Sunday. Every day is His. We will be glad in it.
But we get tired.
It seems that the spinning and spinning is endless. There must be no tread left. We must be circling. We just saw that landmark five minutes ago.
Panic. Is anything getting better? Are we doing any good?
Can we keep going at this pace?
All these questions spill over my heart and down my cheeks after our Sunday night date. On the couch, the kids safely tucked into bed, the last threads turn and the lid pops, and out come all the fears. Frustrations. Anxieties. All that I can no longer bear falls onto his shirt, into his shoulder.
This time, I can't carry it alone.
We bow our heads, and he carries it to our Father for me.
I simply could not take another step.
The next afternoon, as Ryan climbs into the van, the classroom aid who brings him mentions that there is a note in his backpack that I really ought to read.
Then it hits me. For the first time all year, I failed to check the Goat Book. Blerg.
Scrambling to open his backpack, I find encouragement that had been there all weekend. I had no idea.
Among other things, the note that I know took a minute his teacher didn't have to give, told me that he's coming out of his shell more and more. That he even stopped her while they were walking down the hall and said, "It's time for a hug, Mrs. B!" and proceeded to wrap her up.
The aid, Ms. K, tells me as she watches me go nuts over the note, that Ryan's now making a new friend. He's learning the names of the kids in his class. THIS. IS. HUGE. He is reaching out, trying to talk to kids in his class. And they're trying to talk back.
Then, at home, I find these gems in his folder.
Yes, Mommy is the blobby one on the left. Daddy is the taller, thinner one to the right. This one is pretty great, too. Notice the eyes... still none of the business parts of the eyes. Just sockets, thanks.
So I'm in the middle of kicking myself for not looking at the Goat Book when, out of nowhere, I remember... maybe brokenness isn't such a bad thing.
I tend to get a bit too big for my britches. Got this, don't need help, all with a smile... but I'm going down the drain. At least I'm smiling, right?
Sometimes we need to fall apart so that we can remember that we can't keep it together. I couldn't even pray for myself. Too tired. Too worn. Too weary. Oh, I could have... but the blessing of curling in my husband's arms while he interceded on my... and Ryan's... and his... behalf?
Hard, yes. Inexplicably, oddly sweet? Absolutely. I had the chance to admit I was scared. As hard as that is, laying it out there is needed.
And the next day, I learn that all is going uphill. Even tonight, as I was putting him to bed, he sat on his top bunk and picked up one of the Angry Bird small stuffies my mother bought for him. He's never offered to love them much. Actually, he usually throws them down from his bed in a rather rejectful fashion.
This time, he fiddled with the tag a minute, then handed it to me and said, "you will cut".
"You want the tag off, buddy?"
You better believe I headed to the kitchen like my jeans were aflame. In an instant, I returned with a de-tagged stuffie. He handed me the other. And the other. Then I stood in joyous amazement and watched him smile, stim, and play with them for the first time. Then he laid down with them arranged all around his head, and even gave me a kiss good night.
Then, by the time I got to the kitchen, I heard him screaming for Mommy. AGAIN, a first.
Upon returning to his room, I hear him crying real tears and shaking sobs. "Take your glasses!"
My etherial delight at watching him play in such a calm, peaceful, happy way turned to utter terror in less than five minutes. I forgot to take his glasses and put them away.
Yes, I need refuge. And maybe... just maybe... I need to admit that a little more often. Because when I can hear what my boy needs, I can share a solution. An arm around his shoulder. A kiss for his cheek. A shoulder for his tears.
But if he never cries out?
Frustration on both parts. Sadness, anger, anxiety on both parts.
Thanks be to God for leading us to rest and refuge, even if it's the hard way.
Cry out today. Let someone... let Him... take some of the weight.
Thanks be to God for progress. Even progress that we don't recognize.