The other night after a fight with Michael when he wasn’t listening and losing control of himself, we sent him to his “cool down” room. He was pretty upset in there, but eventually calmed down, apologized and his beloved stuffed animal that had been lost was found. The day had been a mix of changed plans and Michael had seemed a little on the tired side, not an excuse I know, but a fact. After he had calmed down and apologized, I did his therapeutic massage and then he went to his bedroom to lie down. Our new routine is that he calls me when he is ready to be tucked in. He likes the way I tuck the covers under his feet and shoulders. This is something I used to love as a child when my Mom did it, I sensed he might like it too. After he called out, I went to his room to say our final goodnight where I usually put the blankets on then lots of little hugs followed by a big hug happen and I say a quick prayer as well as I love you. That night though Michael surprised me. Before I could say the prayer, Michael spoke up:
“Mommy, I want you to know I talk to God sometimes and I thank him for my health, my family, my home, food, and all the things I have. I don’t pray to him out loud like you do, but I think about these things. I know it’s not as good as what you do, but it’s a start, right?”
It took me a minute to catch my breath and not start to cry. I could not believe what I was hearing! He was getting the very important spiritual message I was not pressing on him, but demonstrating through my own short prayers and life. He was getting the message about living mindfully, being grateful, and in my case, trying to show him how God could be accessed in small moments, not just in one place or time. And the beliefs that he was not alone, were coming through.
“Michael, that is good. God knows what’s in your heart always. He knows what a special boy you are and good person. He helped us find Barney, you know. I prayed for Him to help us and show us the way.”
Michael looked at me in shock, then a little smile spread across his face.
“I’m so proud of you Michael. I love you.”
“I love you too Mommy.”
And that’s when we did our hugs, I said my short prayer and left his room, full of such joy an peace. After a tough night and some ups and downs in the day, this was a wonderful way to end the day.
Exceptional Parents, how many times have your Exceptional Children surprised you by doing something incredible? Remember in that moment, that is who they are, and what they are capable of. You must never lose sight of their potential, or your own, as their Exceptional Parent. When you have tough days and moments, remember that is what you are working with them to bring out all the time. It will come as they learn how to manage their emotion and their strengths. Until next time.