Don’t forget to sing

We’ve had a let’s-just-hold-on-and-try-to-survive kind of a week.

It’s been physically painful with lots of restraining of a raging twelve-year-old, and emotionally grueling in a way that’s difficult to describe. I couldn’t get out of bed the other day. I just couldn’t do it. I literally¬†called and cancelled a doctor’s appointment because I could not make my brain propel my body out of bed. When they asked why, I wanted to say, “because my mentally-disabled son is beating up me and the rest of the family every day and breaking the house and we are desperate for solutions and I’m so sad that I can’t get dressed and drive to your office and pretend things are okay.”

This is what I really said, “I have an issue with my children and can’t make it.”

So there was that. But there were some good, really good things, too.

The high points:

  1. Jack’s IEP. IEP Day is to the special needs parent what bone marrow transplant day is to the leukemia patient, I suppose. It’s big and emotional. It has a reputation for being confrontational, spawning memes like this one:

But Jack’s IEP was positive and productive. His team is terrific. His teacher was hand-picked by heaven to influence Jack and his classmates for good. He has come a long way in many areas, and for these things, I am grateful.

2. We had a big meeting with two behaviorists, our ABA therapist, and Jack’s respite sitter to collectively determine how to proceed in this new realm of violence and destruction. Jack has entered a new phase of growth and boundary-pushing behaviors. The same things we’ve always done at home to help Jack aren’t working anymore. So we huddled and shared ideas and I felt that Jeff and I weren’t alone in this painful trek. The new behaviorist actually had a promising lead on a foundation that provides some of the support services Jack needs. When the meeting ended, I felt like God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “See. I told you I would be here and here I am.”

3. Jeff and I got to leave the house for a few hours on Saturday afternoon to eat lunch and run errands. It felt like the boulder rolled off my shoulders. As we drove home afterward, Jeff said, “This is what normal people do on Saturdays. They go out. They eat food. They buy a shirt. They buy a dress.”

I said, “We aren’t normal people. But we did get to go out and eat and shop. So, huzzah.” We nodded knowingly at each other.

As we were taking Jack on one of several thousand drives this weekend, a voice in my head said, “Jesus took all of this on himself. He knows how you feel when your little boys are afraid of Jack. He knows how Jeff feels when he has to pin Jack to the floor to stop him from biting and punching us. He knows how Jack feels because his brain doesn’t function normally and he can’t speak and he’s frustrated.”

And then I read this scripture and it sang to me. “Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world.”

Don’t be afraid.

Don’t be sad.

Don’t worry.

Get up and take a deep breath.

Put on your shoes.

Get in the car.

Keep going.

Remember Jesus.

Sing.

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