i meant to type "choosing wonder". not sure how chasing came out instead, but i'm keeping it.
earlier today i was on the phone with a few different folks, for business-y type stuff. all were asking questions about elijah's development and daily life. as i spoke my examples to them of his improving eye contact, and becoming verbal, giant hot tears filled my eyes. i finished up the last call and just let it all go for a second. letting out a few unkempt bursts of weeping as my little wild boy squeezed my neck so tightly i feared it may pop. squ-eeeeeeeze! he shouts through his funny grin, as he grips my neck nearly to death. seriously, i always think 'is this the time we go to the emergency room...uh, yeah, her son literally squeezed her head off.'
something about speaking out loud, making it really heard. progress. new skills. more understanding. it overwhelms me to think about where we are today with elijah's therapy. grateful seems too small a word. and i remember to wonder.
the lord has not one, but many awesome therapists and interventionalists in elijah's life. they love elijah and strive to see him thrive and grow. every day. they're fun and full of help and humor. we adore them. seeing the god's provision for this special need, reminds me of his sovereign awareness of every detail.
i wonder at how he pretends. while we've always encouraged and modeled it, we were told not to expect much functional or organic play. i'd forgotten what a treasure it is to see children with their vivid imaginations giving fresh life to whatever they touch and see. now? our son plays. elijah uses silly voices. he makes dinosaurs drive transformers and creates sharks and fish from playdoh. he's the best pretender i know.
i wonder at the way he is obsessed with wearing alltheclothes one minute, then wants nothing to do with them the next.
i wonder at the way he remembers places. that he's been once. a year ago.
or says there's two of everything he sees "two elephant" "two bread" "two juice". i am certain it means something to him. i wonder if i'll ever know what?
and the way he sometimes invites me to sit with him under his blanket, or "beds" as he calls them. i wonder at his love for us, his parents. it's true and sturdy affection. something i had mild anxiety that i may never know. but. here he is. overflowing with legit, big-squeezy love.
autism hasn't 'stolen him away'. i have read sad things along those lines and wondered how i would "cope" with being a mom to an autistic.
thankfully god quickly replaced my worrying and wondering with wondering. amazement at his plan to not make anything easy, but to make things good. fascinated that autism is blessing me. accepting it has brought a deeper fellowship with jesus and stronger woven family threads.
because the marvelous things-the pretend play or communication or having shorter meltdowns-they are not what i wonder at. but wonder at jesus, the giver of these sweet, overwhelming gifts.
i'm better learning to wonder at him alone. he's our constant in this predictably unpredictable, beautifully hard life with autism. to see his hands at work in my family every ding dang day.
he helps me to still wonder and rustle up praise to him even when nothing is fun. when screaming won't stop. when i get kicked in the face. when budgets get shattered. when the car needs work. when the fridge is full. when i hear "mama" and feel gentle fingers through my hair and have the best days ever with ice cream on top.
i don't need happy times on easy street AND god to be filled with joy and wonder. just him. ONLY GOD. family, dreams, comforts, things. all beneath and all fleeting.
raising any child is just hard. life is just hard. no matter what.
i challenge you, to kick up some wondering. it's a life changing practice.
maybe you feel too weak and worn to wonder. perhaps read through psalm 84. read it and pray it to the lord and ask him to bring your wonder back.
but i have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. i will sing to the lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. psalm 13:5-6