Is everything in your life black and white? I mean, do you have clearly defined lines for your life? This fits neatly into this category over here, and this fits neatly into this category over here...
I don't really think as parents, we actually have that luxury. The luxury of knowing exactly where everything goes, all the time. It's part of the parenting limbo... I have five very awesome children and as we all know, Evan & Jack are autistic. Its quite possible that I have forgotten that the boys have this disability... I believe that in accepting my children and their differences, I may have started to wonder if quite possibly, Evan & Jack were the 'normal' ones, and we were actually the ones missing out on something... After all, they seemed so happy, they seemed so content, THEY seemed like nothing could bother them... So perhaps, just perhaps, WE the "typical" ones, are missing out on something? I have felt confused over the past few years, quite a few times. I have questioned why it was that they needed to be singled out, why it was that they needed to be handled with kid gloves, and why it was that they needed this label. Afterall they are my children, being fiercely protective, doesn't even begin to describe it. When my own Mother would ask about their progress, I would feel a shield of protection being lifted. There was nothing malicious in the words that she was delivering, but in the mere fact that she was regarding them differently from the other 3... The fact that words even needed to be exchanged... It hurt. They are no different...
However... Then we come to a moment where perhaps Evan or Jack is treated poorly. And immediately, again my defenses are lifted. I think to myself, these people know the boys are autistic. Where is their patience, why are they treating them like that? I want to leave, NOW. Give me my children. So where is the balance? Why all of this Gray area? I feel like I live this period of my life in constant gray. Not gray unhappiness mind you, just gray uncertainty.
All of this comes up because of a simple email. A simple courteous email. Our children go to Sunday School, and two weeks ago the classes graduated. Our boys were moved to the Kindergarten classroom. Until now, they had been in the Preschool level. Since they had gone to Kindergarten this past month, there was no reason to hold them back and not keep them with the peers that they had been with over the past 18 months. They moved to the new classroom, with new teachers, and a new curriculum and of course as you can imagine... There was chaos. Change isn't the boys favorite word, they get it honest though, I'm not a fan either. So for 2 weeks, they've been adjusting to the newness of it all. I'm not in there with them, so I'm not positive of the progress... Today however, I received an email from Charlie, the Pastor of Children's Ministry. Charlie knows us, he was one of the first people I ever spoke with on staff at our church... I feel very close to him and know that he has the best interest of our family at hand. Charlie simply wanted me to write up one paragraph for each of the boys, of how they could best minister to each of the boys... Of course he then wanted to share this with any individuals that would be in contact with the boys...He also said that if I felt it would be better, I was more than welcome to come in and talk with him directly about the boys.
Harmless email right? Totally. Let's just say it was great timing that I was with my best friend Holly when I received the email.
Living in this gray area that I've developed... I think I've convinced myself that Evan & Jack are perfect, and wait... Don't you see it too?? Forgetting all the while that 99% of the rest of the people out there, don't spend EVERY WAKING MOMENT with these children. The little quirks and nuances that they have that are totally commonplace to me, could be incredibly pesky to an outsider looking in.While I am appreciative of Charlie's email, I knew immediately that I wouldn't be able to encompass either of my kids in one paragraph. I'm planning on sitting down and discussing my boys in a meeting with the Children's Ministry Staff. I'm hoping that I'm able to appropriately convey my feelings and at the same time... Did I mention I tend to ramble when I'm stressed?
Incidentally, I'm stressed, did this make any sense to anyone?