Some mornings are hard. It’s a fact of life, especially when you live on the spectrum. It just is. Sunday mornings are particularly full of challenges. Weekends are a tremendous blessing for our spectrum boy, especially if there is flexibility in our family calendar for him to have “play at home” days. These days are what get him through the week.
It seems not to matter how early I start prepping Ben for the time to leave for church, we simply cannot make it there on time. Some days, today for example, I nearly give up. I truly wanted to give up and retreat to the comfort and safety of our home where we can laugh and play and giggle as loud as he wants. But I know that if I give in, that will set us up for an even bigger battle the next time he wants to stay home and I simply cannot put either one of us through that. And so it is, we go, often late, often with one or both of us with tear-stained faces and clothing, but we go. We sit as a family. We sing; we pray; we worship.
Today was the day I nearly threw in the towel and caved to the pleas to just stay home. Today was a day we both dried our eyes before walking in to join our family, 20 minutes after the start of worship. Today took a lot of deep breaths for both of us. But today, this morning, I heard our older boys harmonizing, one on either side of Ben and me, not even trying, but doing so nonetheless. I heard our oldest daughter chuckle when her younger sister gave me an innocent shove to make room for her on the bench and I connected with my husband smiling at me over the same. It was in this moment that I felt the tears well in my eyes again, recognizing God’s gentle voice reminding me that this is why it’s worth it. These moments are numbered as our children grow. Our pew won’t always be so full as they move away, and then we’ll need more than one when they bring their own families home. Home – the place I wanted to curl up in my blanket and retreat in the warmth and the safety of those walls where everyone knows everyone, everyone understands who we are and why we do the things we do – home. But the reality is, I was home. Right there in the midst of our crowded pew, where our shoulders rub and we turn sideways to all fit together and still give Ben and Ali the room they need to be the kids God created them to be. This, too, is home.