Change is good. Days 11 & 12

30 days of thankfulnessIt is safe to say that I am not a fan of change. (Really though, do you know anybody who is??) I like to know “the plan”. I like when things go according that plan.

Now, that is not to say that I can’t roll with change when it happens, because I can, and do, on a daily basis. But that does not mean I am thrilled about it. I simply don’t love it.

Some changes I can totally get behind, though.

The recent time change is one of those things. I am a big fan of that! No, I don’t love that it is dark at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but I DO love that it is beautifully bright and shiny at 6:50 a.m. when I am driving my daughter to school! It really does something for me.

I also love to see my kids grow and change.

Jacob, nearly 18 and a home school senior this year, went to a PARTY this weekend. If you’ve been around here for any time at all, you know that Jacob has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum, and he is not a super social guy. So, to say that he went to a party, well, that is saying a mouthful! He has come so far.

Four years ago, due to his severe sound sensitivity, there is no way he would have gone to that party.

No way, y’all. 

But my Jacob of today, my child who has worked so hard to grow into the young man he is now, decided he would go. So, I dropped him off there. And when the Hub and I arrived to pick him up, he was standing around the bonfire with about six other teenagers. Laughing. Talking. You know, doing regular teenager-y things.

As we walked up, one of the girls saw us and said, “Oh, no, you don’t have to go now, do you, Jacob?” <secret mother smile here> We did not leave right away and as we stood around, we watched one of the girls tossing marshmallows in the air for Jacob to catch. We watched one of the other boys jam a crazy number of marshmallows in his mouth just to see how many he could get in there, while all the other kids were egging him on and cracking up. And while he’s doing that, in my mind, I’m trying to figure out how I would clear his airway when it got blocked with all those marshmallows. <Oh, so THIS is what typical teens act like? Okay, then.> Jacob had a great time.

Today, I got an email from Jacob’s doctor: the amazing woman, who is a child/adolescent psychiatrist, and one of the instruments God has used to help Jacob deal with his anxiety and sensory challenges. She was just checking in and wondering if we might schedule a yearly appointment with her. 

What? It’s been a year since we saw her? No, wait, it’s been more than a year, in fact. Things have changed that much. Things are going that well that we haven’t even thought about needing to go visit her.

In her email, she said this about Jacob: “I use his success as an example when I am talking to folks that have hearing sensitivity.”

Whoa.

Jacob’s story could possibly encourage another person who is suffering like he was? God-willing! Yes!

My heart is filled with so much gratitude. Thank You, Lord! Thank You for using this thing, which was so horrible for Jacob and for our family in those darkest of moments, to give hope and encouragement to someone else!

Thank God that He allowed us to find this doctor who was able to help us—not just Jacob, but our whole family.

I am so thankful that Jacob persevered and went to go do those hard and scary things so that he could get through them, and then each time he did go to Wal-mart, or a movie, or a restaurant, or the fair, or classes at the co-op without earplugs, it got progressively easier.

I am so thankful that, by the grace of God, I have been able to step away and let some of those hard and scary things happen. MAN, that is so, so hard! Just call me El Presidente…that is, Presidente of the Helicopter Moms Society! Yes, it was hard to take a (huge) step  back. But so worth it. And it gives me so much hope for the future for my son.

There was a time when I could never imagine that Jacob would be where he is today. Oh, I never lost hope and I believed it could be, but I could not imagine it.

And yet, here we are.

Yes, change is good. I can’t wait to see what is next.

 

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide

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11 Comments

Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness, Autism Days

11 responses to “Change is good. Days 11 & 12

  1. I’ve only read two posts and I’m so happy for you all! As a teacher, I have seen some amazing changes in kids over years. The hard times are hard, but with the right kind of work, oh the blessing are fantastic! So glad you happened upon my blog so I could then find you.
    BTW, I would have been eagle-eyeing that marshmallow-shover-inner, too.

    • Thanks, Christine! Yes, it has been a long and sometimes tough road, but the rewards we are seeing now are tremendous. Glad to find your blog as well…so glad I joined up on the TALU!! Such a great way to meet some great new folks!

  2. Ohhh, reasons to give thanks.

    Yes, Jacob’s story is one worth celebrating. It is an encouragement not just parents of kids with Asperger’s, but to parents of children who struggle with just about anything.

    Thank you, Joell. Beautiful piece filled with your heart!

  3. “…egging him on and cracking up.” Intentional or not, this made me giggle.

    Joell, you are an amazing writer and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous.

    Btw, if I keep reading your blog, I will have to buy stock in Kleenex.

  4. This makes my heart warm. :) And yes, such a success story!

  5. marshmellows blocking his airway – the way a mom thinks! hahaha :)

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