this was supposed to be a ten on ten post. except i forgot after six photos, and now it's dark. besides, my camera is still temperamental, everything turns out blurry. i would go get it fixed, but i keep forgetting. you're noticing a pattern, yes?
you could say i have too much on my plate. really, there isn't much on my plate that hasn't always been there. it's simply that i'm feeling the weight of it all lately. and it's so overwhelming!
i terribly miss sharing more than a few quick pics from my phone here.
so. i will write a little, and none of it has to do with these pictures :)
something amazing happened today. and i think it's the reason i forgot all about ten on ten.
i took elijah to a birthday party. it was his first non-family party, which overjoyed and terrified me all at once. tears welled up when i saw the little dora the explorer invitation. my little amazing boy got invited to a party! someone sees him, someone thought about him. he was being included.
then i cried a little harder, thinking about what it all meant. uncharted territory. new faces, birthday party manners, loud noises, too many things to touch...why on earth would i attempt such a thing on my own!? because i am crazy. and because i can't let fear rule me.
see, i'm not yet comfortable in my special needs parenting role. i never know what to say, when to say or even if to say things. i feel painfully urged to explain everything about my son, in hopes others will accept and include him. but how do i do that? i'm accustomed to most everything in our life. and i feel like i'm settled with it. until new situations and people appear. then i see everything again for the very first time. and i truly just don't know what to do with myself. i'm still learning, and i guess i always will be. that's life for any of us.
when i called to rsvp, the mom sounded so happy that we said yes. that made me a bit more brave. we gathered gifts we loved for the sweet girl turning five. that made it feel personal. i told elijah all about his friend inviting him and explained about the party, so hopeful for him to understand. he pranced around the house, singing the girl's name into the birthday song. he talked about cake and presents. he understood. and he was excited. i felt more excited.
we arrived at the playplace, my extreme germ phobia was completely absent. i was so nervous and awkward with all the feelings, i didn't even care. we were greeted with smiles and elijah hid between tables. i encouraged him to go play and have fun, but i let him hang out until he was ready. soon enough he was climbing and following the other kids around, grinning big and looking confident. he made me more confident.
he played with other kids.
he joined everyone at the table for cake. leading off with the birthday song unprompted, right in the birthday girl's face. it was the best moment. multiple moments really, since he sang it over and over again. elijah was obviously overstimulated and overwhelmed. he was managing himself so well! oh, the things he teaches me.
for me, today was a huge day. a stressful, anxious successful day :) not just making it through the party. we stayed the entire time, and enjoyed it. that's amazing to me. but not surprising.
i know the lord orchestrated our afternoon of celebrating. i know he planned each detail and knew each emotion that waved over me and my son. he made us brave, he helped me do this difficult new thing. he showed me that he is able, even for a rowdy afternoon birthday party. he showed up for us. in the kindness of others there, in the strength he gave me to just go and celebrate a little girl. to just try it.
this was a victory in our autism journey. and this was a victory in my heart. jesus won over my fear and doubt. pretty sure i'll be celebrating that for awhile.
"as for you, o lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!" psalm 40:11