Hope Showed Its Face

If you’d have asked me yesterday, I’d have said it was hopeless. That nothing had changed. The night before, we struggled for over five hours to get him to sleep. He was already having violent outbursts, already throwing things at people, already out of control. I didn’t make it through one hour yesterday morning before I had to call my husband home from work for backup. I couldn’t make him take his medicines. I couldn’t calm him down. I felt awful about making my husband miss more work when he’s already had to take off so much. I wanted him to help me get Javan’s medicines into him and get him calmed down and go immediately back to work. But he never got to go back to work. The whole day was rough. So rough that we hatched a plan to put locks on every door and cabinet and rid our main living environment of anything that wasn’t bolted down or too large to throw. We’d model our home after the hospital environment we observed. At least with his sleep medications it only took him one hour to go to sleep at bedtime. He slept through the night without incident.

Today, hope showed its face. Today made me think that maybe we can do this. It was our weekly homeschool group park day and he was actually interested in going. Getting dressed began to be problematic when he insisted on wearing his Captain America costume and I insisted that it was too hot outside for that. Usually I’m all for natural consequences of bad choices, but when he’s on this much medication I know he’s more prone to heat exhaustion and dehydration and we do live in Texas. We were able to compromise on him wearing a short sleeved shirt and shorts under the costume so he could peel the costume off if (read: when) he got too hot. It then took thirty minutes for me to convince him to take his medicines, which I was finally able to do by enthusiastically chanting “Su-per-KID! Su-per-KID” until every pill was swallowed and every vitamin chewed. Then we were off to the park. He didn’t even make it through the car ride before deciding to ditch the super suit.

Today’s park day wasn’t at a location we’d visited before, which made me slightly nervous as new places can be difficult for Javan to acclimate to. In his mind you should have park day at “the park day park.” Period. But he actually did really well at the new location. He brought his EZ roller and rolled all along the sidewalk. He climbed up and through the playground equipment, stopping to talk to at least one boy along the way.

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He helped a younger boy on the jungle gym. He worked with a girl to uproot some roots that had grown under the jungle gym. He interacted positively with other children. His favorite feature of the park seemed to be a dry ravine running alongside it. You had to get good and dirty climbing in and out and there were neat sticks and roots down there.

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He lasted an hour and a half and then was ready to go home. I was really impressed that he made it that long and so happy that we left on a good note. I’m forever greatful that we get to be a part of such an amazing, inclusive homeschool group. These moms know what we’ve been through and they don’t pull away from us. They embrace us.

After the park, we came home and cuddled and watched a My Little Pony episode. Then Javan went outside and decided to put his mechanical skills to work “fixing up” his bike. Here he is putting his bike up on a jack.

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He measured his bike with a tape measure, did something  (gentle) to it with a crowbar, and pretended to repaint it with a large dry paintbrush. While he was doing this, his Weebo (that’s Javanese for paternal grandma) came by with a friend from church who measured our back porch for reflooring. This friend, Mr. Lawrence, happened to be a truck driver and his truck was parked just down the road. So, by his invitation, we took an impromptu field trip to see a big truck up close and personal. His trailer was a big dumping trailer. No, that’s not the right thing to call it probably. He showed Javan how it dumps and undumps and let him climb all around the cab.

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He got to sit in the driver’s seat and honk the horn. And he got to see where a trucker sleeps and how they eat. He asked Mr. Lawrence if he had a work and when he replied that this is his work, Javan just lit up. I guess he never realized that being a truck driver was a job before. Thanks for the awesome experience, Mr. Lawrence!

After that, Javan took a much needed bath and got ready to go on a date with his Grammy, my mom. They went to Chuck E. Cheese for pizza and games and I went out with my girlfriends. It seems he did very well while out with her. My husband said he did pretty good with medicine and bedtime, besides feeling sad and asking to sleep in our bed.

When I got home, I snuck in and saw him and prayed over his sleeping body as I always do when I’m not home to tuck him in and night. There’s something so precious and peaceful about watching your child sleep. And now I’m off to sleep myself so I can be the best mom I can be again tomorrow. Good night.

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