Mornings are tough around here. I’m pretty sure everyone can relate.
This morning was no exception. Eldest and I dragged along. Rachel was in no mood to rush either. I delivered eldest to school in time for her to slide into her desk just before the final bell. Rachel and I were, as usual, late.
To make matters more … interesting, I had forgotten my iPhone at home. Sounds simple, but it was a big deal. Rachel’s morning routine ALWAYS includes playing the songs Ghostbusters and My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust. She might toss in some Toby Mac or Matthew West, but the other songs are non negotiable. (Her Ghostbusters interest came after big sister danced to the sang in a recital.)
The entire trip to her school she yelled, “pa!” for my phone. (Her apraxia of speech prevents clear words at this point.) I kept telling her it was at home. She was not happy. We pulled into her school parking lot, and she made a desperate grab for my purse. After digging through my purse, she slumped to the very back of the van, defeated and discontent. And then she stripped mostly naked.
I considered driving home to start over. She considered it too, by putting on her seat belt and gesturing to the parking lot exit. Fortunately, my RDI training came to mind. “One of the primary deficits in autism is the inability to cope with change in an ever-changing world.” So in order to help Rachel, the best thing I could do was continue with what we were doing.
Rachel was not impressed. I was not happy.
It took quite a while to get her re-dressed and out the car door. When we got into the classroom, she marched into the bathroom and stripped naked. For the third time…
After leaving, I felt deflated. I had experienced other defeats that morning, including the realization that I am a not a master budget-er, gardener, housekeeper, or exerciser. Even my kitchen sink turned against me in less than five minutes. Plus, my dog’s trip to the vet cost more than two weeks worth of groceries. The above picture of my dog trying to cope with his vet visit says it all: If I just lie here, maybe no one will notice me…
As I whined internally, I realized that I was again depending on circumstances to provide joy. That’s like watching an exercise video while sitting on the couch and expecting to have the same figure as the instructor. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, events can give me a boost, but internal joy comes from one source.
May the joy of the Lord be your strength today, my friends. (From Nehemiah 8:10)