Thursday, September 5, 2013

Non-Routine Routine

We live on routine.  If you have know us, by blog or personally, for any length of time, you know this. From sunup to sundown we're scheduled and timed even down to the minute.  If there aren't time limits or certain times to do things, it's order.  The order in which we do things is crucial.

This is one of the ways we don't really realize what we do until we need someone else to do it, or we need to change it in some way.  Or when we start to try to tell someone what life is like here, or how things go.  Or why we just don't do something.

Then there are times when something just happens.  You go through life filing, spacing, cramming, and multi-tasking the minutes to make sure the days when he's here are unchanged and routine, pretty much... then something happens that shoves a monkey wrench in the usual.

It happens more than I'd like to admit.  Still, even being who he is, it seems like the larger the monkey wrench in my eyes, the easier it is for Ryan.

I think I mentioned I get to do about 45 minutes of teaching every day for a short while.  It's a blast and I'm completely addicted again... which isn't necessarily good because I need to be doing what I'm doing.  Anyway, I walked out of the ensemble room where the beginning clarinet class happens, forgetting that the third grade music class is in session right then.

I looked up, and before I could even think, I heard, "Mama!"  There was my precious, stimming baby boy, as baby boy as you can be at 85 lbs and as tall as my shoulders.  He was so deliciously delighted at seeing his Mama.

Gotta be honest, I felt like a rock star.  He looked around after he saw me, till his eyes met the aid from his class. With her nod, he jumped and ran, throwing his arms around me, still grinning ear to ear.  After peeling him off and into his seat, one of his buddies had to have a hug, too.  Then another, and another, till the whole life skills class had a hug from Ryan's Mama.  The kid next to Ryan insisted that I give their aid a hug too... thankfully I know her!

In just a couple of minutes, it was time to go. I was expecting to have to take him home with me.  He sought me after I'd gone back into the ensemble room, giving me one last hug, even telling me he loves me, and with much encouraging went back to be the line leader with no problem.

Go figure.

Then today, on the way in the house, I needed to take a sudden but important call.  The afternoon was nearly flushed.

During his speech session, I thought he was going to break the kitchen table or his hand with the pounding and screaming.  None of the usual sets of wording worked.  He spiraled into a rage of confusion, and all I could do was stay calm and try to help him out.

We do our best.  We change what we can, and try to help him through the rest.  The rest, when defined as something we knew could set him off in the first place, is hard to swallow.  It feels like I caused it. Because well, I didn't have to answer the phone.  She's a very understanding lady and I could have called her back.  It would not have been a problem.  But rather than get in the house and follow the usual procedure till Ryan was comfy and through the important transition from school to home, I answered the blasted phone.

It was depressing.

Here's the thing.  We do our best, but we can't control everything.  Even within the things we can control, we will make a bad decision, especially a snap decision, here and there.  Sometimes it'll end well, others it'll end badly.

That's just the way it is.  Sometimes it ends in hugs and love and amazement, sometimes it ends in regrets and apology and internal promise to do better next time.

In it all, there is life.  One step forward, two steps back... then two steps forward, one step back.  Little by little, we inch along together. As we inch, forward or back, we must remember that there is a sovereign God who is not surprised by the things that surprise, or even rock, us.

Thanks be to God for being who he is.   And for that embrace in the music room.  That was pretty amazing.  

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