It's one of those weekends that makes you happy to live in Texas.
Last weekend, that is. While we're seeing blizzard headlines in other parts of the world, the temperature reached over eighty degrees this weekend. After a day of mowing outside and cleaning, organizing, unpacking, and laundry inside, we headed to the dollar store after a trip to the city park. Our sprinkler finally kicked the bucket last year after almost ten years of faithful service, and acquiring another was imperative.
The kids frolicked in the new sprinkler with pure, unabashed delight almost all evening! We even had dinner in the backyard at the patio table, enjoying the warmer weather and cool breeze. Their joy was completely contagious. It was such fun that, after church, lunch, and a quick trip to get Eric's new grill, we headed home for a repeat of the evening.
As we sought part 8 and washer D and bolt A, their giggles continued again until dinner, which they were again more than happy to take outside. In just minutes after their dinner, they were in an out of the bath and ready to snuggle down in bed.
This morning went amazingly smooth for the first day back from a break. He had a marginal day at school, and an average day at ABA. As we pulled into the driveway I heard two things:
Indeed he did have homework, and indeed we were not going to use the sprinkler except on weekends. You know, water bills and all that.
The kids all played outside, even letting Ryan do his spelling words on the patio table so that we could stay outside. Around the time we decided I needed to go make dinner, things went down hill fast.
The good news is that Ryan really likes being outside, playing in the sprinkler, then having dinner, then playing some more.
The bad news is that when Ryan really likes something, he wants to do it ALL. THE. TIME. By "wants" I mean hits, yells, cries, screams and demands. The evening, from here out, was noisy.
We found something Ryan loves, and that is wonderful! But at the same time, it seems that we may have set him up for upset. He really does not understand why, if something is simply fabulous, he can't just do THAT all the time.
This is one of those ways it's tempting to say, "Eeh, my kid does that." But trust me. If you could see his face... feel his confusion... hear his wailing, "GO OUT SIIIIIIIIDE!!!!!" through tears, you'd know. It's just painful for him. If you could see his beet-red chest from the incessant frustrated hitting, you'd see his pain.
We have to do the fun stuff. We have to help him find the balance between work and play that we all must strike. We have to help him, as we have to help our typically-abled kids, learn to work and even find joy in being productive as we seek to be good stewards of the opportunities we've been given.
But for now, if he takes a liking to something, get ready.
Yes, it's painful to watch him struggle with this understanding of life. Yes, I brace myself when it's time to insist that he do something that he needs to do but likely won't like. But there's this face... this sparkle in his eye... and in that moment, watching him giggle, taste, and savor life with his brother and sister, it's all okay.
Better than okay. It's wonderful. It's a reminder of Romans 8:28, and a great privilege.
So whatever this roller coaster holds, sign me up for tomorrow.
Thanks be to God for his comfort.