Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Show me the Signs

Yesterday, our ABA therapist wasn't feeling well, so we stayed home.  For me, it was great because that meant an afternoon to slay the laundry dragon, who otherwise stays until about Thursday.  I mean, I was sorry she was ill, but oh, to not drive to Waco for just one more day!   We called the school, and thankfully Ryan took the change in stride.

Once at home, we started homework.  Well, we started homework after the usual amount of "NO HOMEWORK!" and general herding in the direction of the table.  He wrote his first two spelling words, then began to draw a square on his marker board.

I reminded him again gently that he should erase and please write "bright".  Nothing doing, he was still going on whatever it was he had in mind to write.

Then I had to start taking pictures.

This kid amazes me.

Yes, that is "Right lane must turn right."  Then he erased, and began another sign.

After the sign that says that the right lane must turn, we merge, when we're going home from therapy, onto this road... going this direction. 

Then, we merge onto 164.  

164 Texas East, of course.  And just look at that adorable stim, would ya?  I mean, if there were a hand-flapping contest, my boy would certainly be in the running for a prize.  It's adorable. 

Check out the hand-flapping action in this one.  This kid is really into these road signs!  

After 164 Texas East, at a stoplight in town, we cross highway 14 to get home.  

Whenever I think it might be easier to keep him home from church, whenever I think he's not paying attention, he does something like this and reminds me that  HE IS LISTENING.  

He is watching.  

He is absorbing.  

He is paying, so many times, more attention than I am.  

It makes sense, if you give it a bit of thought.  He's not worried with what others are thinking about his shoes, his clothes, his hair... he's being Ryan.  

I look at him so often, wishing I could unlock his thoughts, and maybe free him from the bonds of not being able to communicate his feelings verbally very affectively.  To help him learn social graces, more rules of general conduct (Like don't belch in church.  Yeah.  We're there.  Not just in the hall, but in the fat middle of the service.), and how to navigate all these things in life.  

But maybe, in some ways, I'm the one in bondage.  

What did they think of what I said?  Did I say too much?  Is this shirt okay?  Is my hair too homely?  Is my van too dirty?  Did I sound stupid?  Did I do a good job with that?  Did I make her angry?  How will I navigate *insert awkward social situation*? 

But Ryan?  He is who he is.  

He drinks his surroundings.  He notices, appreciates, and enjoys things I don't even notice.  

He lays in the puddles on the narrow concrete path in the backyard, letting the sprinkler wash over him.  

"It's raining, Mommy!"  

He stims, eyes wide, as the droplets splash in the puddles right under his nose.  This is pure, unspoiled, unadulterated joy.  My first thought is that he's not concerned a bit with those around him, but it's much more than that.  

He's seeing more than I see.  Maybe someday he'll put it to words.  Maybe I'll get to hear his description of what I'm seeing before me as what looks like a precious little boy enjoying a puddle.  

I sit in the floor with him, I play alongside him.  I reach out and hug when he allows, we roll on the floor and play.  I long to see inside that mind.  To hear the concerns of that heart.  To know what scares him.  What I wouldn't give to slip inside his skin for just a little while.  

But even if he doesn't ever have the fluency of words to express what he sees, I will hold these precious glimpses into his world close as reminders that he is listening.  Not just listening... he is learning.  Feeling.  Growing.  Building on what he knows.  

And oh, how I pray that I'll not operate just try to make him understand and function a little more smoothly with the rest of us... but learn to be a little more like him.  

Thanks be to God for the signs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...