Friday, March 22, 2013

Home Project

The other day, Ryan was in a fit about the difference between spring break and school time.  He was quite unhappy and confused at the change of having to do homework instead of what he wanted to do, etc.  I got in the floor to do his "word eraser" which is really his reading fluency folder from school, and  before I knew it, we were snuggling in the kitchen floor, giggling.  He needed calming proprioception, which for us, usually means pressure.  I'll press his joints together, rub on his back and legs, push on the bottoms of his feet, and even down on top of his head.  And you know what I caught myself thinking?

Why don't I do this more?

Why didn't I convince myself of this before?

Let me back up a bit.  For a long time, we've operated under the "let's get this behavior under control" mode.  And yes, behaviors such as hitting himself, yelling "no" when he's told to do something, screaming at random, and just plain throwing a fit when he doesn't understand must be met firmly.  Loss of privileges is still in play here.  But the attitude of our hearts while attempting to shape his was one of fear, mostly of the future.  Of how he'd fit into places outside our house.

Then I started thinking about this being his home.  Of how I loved going home, and now love going home to Eric's folks.  And my own words from the "Vacating" post keep ringing in my head.

We can breathe.  They know us here.  They love us here. 

We can be us here.

We needed a self-check.  A report card of our hearts and attitudes, the basis of everything we do so automatically. 

What we've loved so much about home is the same things we want to give our kids.  They can be who they are.  They don't have to think so hard about every little thing they do, although we do expect manners and kindness and loving attitudes.  

So if Maelynn needs to cry about having to eat her vegetables or for not getting to watch what she wants to watch, she can go have a good cry in her room.  

If Richie is angry and needs to pace and grumble and work through his frustration, he is welcome to go in his bedroom and do so.  

If Ryan, who has maybe less than half the verbal communication and expression skills of his brother and sister is hitting himself and screaming, maybe it's time to roll around in the floor and take some time to constructively help him find his place in the world with proprioception and snuggles.  

At your house, if we're ever there, we'll not be rolling on the floor.  We'll not roll on the floor of a store, either.  You will likely catch us snuggling and participating in proprioception at church during a service, but I'll promise we'll keep our seats.  


Because he needs a physical anchor, just like we do.  He won't say it, and neither will Richie or Maelynn.  But we know them here.  We love them here. This is their place to be who they are, which makes sense, because we're to help them become who God made them to be.  Yes, they need guidance.   They will get it.  But they will also get a place to air their hearts.  

If they don't learn to air their hearts safely with us, how will they learn to pray?  If we can't help them through things and help them learn God's principles, who will?  If we don't start now, then when?  

So if you knock on our door and catch me on the floor with one of our kids, or if you see us in the back of the church (where we sit to avoid being distracting) pushing on his hands or legs with him smiling in relief, feel free to ask questions... but please don't be shocked if we don't stop.  

Just as Eric led me into his parent's house for the first time, calming my fears by saying, "It's okay, they know me here," someday our kids will lead friends and even spouses here.  And I pray they'll be able to honestly say the same thing.  

Thanks be to God for HOME.  

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