Ah, church. This is normally a place of peace, tranquility, and reflection. For my husband and I, sometimes it is this, but more often in the last little while, it had become a mixture of the above, along with controlling Michale’s exuberant outbursts of sometimes happy things, sometimes not so happy things. Our church knows Michael, and understands. There are other exceptional children who attend, but none have been as vocal as Michael, you could say. 🙂
In the last month though, we saw huge improvements in Michael’s behavior with the re-introduction of a chewie which he wears around his neck like a necklace. Biting down on it has helped him stay calm. He also has headphones now which he had been asking us for. I think the feedback from the speakers in the church when the priest was talking and hearing the choir through those channels, was hard on his ears. He is calm now that he can control how he receives sound. I have talked about this in a previous blog. But what I have not mentioned before, were the other routines he has which I had hoped would fade out. Frankly, I was annoyed by them, as they interrupted my vision of what a perfect mass was.
We had moved from the pews back into the baby room, where there were toys to play with. His father and I didn’t mind this as he would play quietly at first with the toys, while following along in his adapted church book. But then, he wanted to go to drink from the water fountain and say hi to the Sunday School kids in the back of the church. One of us would inevitably end up missing a chunk of the mass. He would sometimes get a little hyper, bursting into the room without knocking. But two weeks ago, he actually announced he wanted to try sitting in the pews for the whole mass. We had some bumps in the road where he got noisy and we brought him back to the baby room briefly before going out, but last week he did amazing. We did our walk back to say hi to Sunday school friends, have water, and I realized that he was adapting back to church slowly on his own terms. Maybe I was being a little rigid in my expectations, and as long as the interest to go, interact and ask spiritual questions were there, I would continue to take Michael to church.
Moms, I know I’ve said this before, but I really believe our Exceptional Children were given to us for a reason. They are here to teach us patience, confidence, and how sometimes in life you have to think outside of the box. Next time you are losing patience with your child, think about what they are teaching you about yourself in that moment, and remember the big picture, not the little annoyances. After all, as Exceptional Moms, we’re on the road to growing more as people every day under our children’s guidance as much as they are under ours. Until next time.