Monday, April 22, 2013

There's a Reason for That.

On Facebook this morning, I saw THIS.

Then, I posted this.

"So yeah, there's a reason for that."

There is absolutely a reason for that.

For a long time, I thought the reason was other people and their reactions.  Well, I told myself that, anyway.  For a long time that was true.  It still is a small part of why it's hard to get out of the house.

Here's the hard part to admit.   It's just no fun.

What could be more fun than an outing with the family?  What's easier and more satisfying for the kiddies than a trip to the city park?  Hey, it's cheap, right?

When the kids were little and money was even tighter, a trip to the park was a way out of the house.  a trip to the local store to just walk around when it was rainy was perfect!  If Ryan got fussy, we could pick him up, hold him, and generally make things okay.

Fast forward to nearly 8 years old, and an 80 pound Ryan is not so easy to pick up.  Or console.  Or stop, for that matter.  He's quick and he's fast.  He can nearly knock me over, and I'm not a little girl.

Yesterday after CE, he ran toward the microwave in the church cafe.  He's been doing this pretty consistently, but this time I was able to catch him.  Blocking him with my body, I reminded him in the calmest yet firm voice that I could that we have to be calm or we can't go where we usually go for lunch.  It goes a little something like this:

Mommy:  "Calm or no Star."

Ryan: "YAAAAAA!!!!  YES STAR!!!!"

Mommy: "Calm or no Star."


Repeat ad nausem.

At one point, his CE helper came by and reminded Ryan that he has to be calm and tell us what he wants.  Ah, something new to say! So I repeated that until finally and all of a sudden, he quit pushing me and yelling and said, "Crayons!  You will color!"

Well sure, buddy. No problem.  You ready to go sit with Dad?


Alright then.

Even then, though, Ryan is a tank.  If he's determined to go somewhere, he's going to go unless a brick wall stops him.  There is very little convincing him to calm down.

Now take all I just shared, take it out of the safe environment of church (which is completely within our normal routine) and stick him somewhere in public.  Let's say we stick him in the middle of the grocery store, where not only do I need to be able to use my hands for something other than guiding him, but I need to think.

See where I'm going?

There was something I really wanted to do yesterday.  This was one of those things I dreamed of doing as a mama of three kids, or even more.  A wonderful church lunch to benefit the youth.  And I'm sorry to say that I didn't have it in me.

Mamas, Daddies, Guardians... please, please, please know and accept your limitations.  Learn when to push past that feeling of dread and when to admit your blood pressure meds aren't going to cut it for this one.  Yes, we might have been okay.  It might have even been fun.  But although I was disappointed that we didn't go, Ryan had such a full-scale, all-out screaming-bloody-murder meltdown that evening that I'm sure we made the right decision. He just wasn't up to it.

Listen to your instincts, parents.  God gave them to you for a reason.  He gave us Ryan, Richie, and Maelynn for a reason.  We know them, we know our loving church family.  But we also know the statistics on wandering, elopement, and drowning with autistic kids.

And we also know that the church loves us whether or not we made it to the lunch.

Maybe next time, but for this time, it was best to stay within where we know our little guy operates the most comfortably.  This is not the same as quitting.  This is not giving up.  This is being real about who you are, who your family is, and what you and your child can handle.  There will be other church dinners, and we will try again.  For yesterday, we did the best we could.

Today, we got up and did the same.

We will do the same tomorrow.

Thanks be to God for the comfort of boundaries, for the courage to stretch them, and the wisdom to know when enough is enough.  

1 comment:

  1. Every parent has to learn to learn boundaries and pick their battles. I imagine you have honed that skill 10,000 times over. I'm sorry you didn't get to go to the lunch, though I know you did what was best for your kids - all of them. Don't ever let anyone think that choosing your battles is quitting or giving up. You know best - at least compared to the rest of us walking on terra firma.


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