Tag Archives: privilege

Perseverated is not a bad word

per·sev·er·ate – To repeat a word, gesture, or act insistently or redundantly.

Recently, my husband and I made plans for a “date night” with our son.  Weather permitting (which it didn’t), we planned to go on a picnic dinner the following evening.  Our date was to include the three of us and our dogs at a local dog park.  My husband voiced the idea to our son prior to his bedtime one night this week.  The impending evening’s date was the first thing Jackson mentioned upon waking the following morning.  And according to Jackson’s teacher (the same day), he apparently “Perseverated on needing day to end so he could get to ‘date’ with mom and dad at dog park.”

I’m just spit balling here, but I don’t think the teacher’s note was written in a favorable tone.  And please understand, I don’t think Jackson’s teacher is being overtly critical or mean spirited when she pens notes such as this.  (This wasn’t the first time.)  But I’ve got to tell you, I also do not instinctively see a negative when I see a note such as this—probably to his teacher’s disappointment.  My mind (blessedly) isn’t wired for that.

As challenging as Jackson can be at times, I’m grateful I can see his light shining through.  Additionally, I’m able to remind myself of his difficult origins.  If it sounds as if I’m trivializing matters, please know I’m not.  And I’m also not saying I don’t sometimes lose my cool.  I do.  (See previous post from 1/23/2014 titled “Fail.”)  But I also know I drive myself most crazy when I let people of “authority” into my head.  That’s when I start to panic over Jackson’s “differences” and challenges.  It’s when we receive back-to-back reports of “defiance” and meltdowns that I literally go into overdrive researching autism spectrum disorder (“ASD”), Asperger’s Syndrome and sensory processing disorder (“SPD”).

With a clear head, at least for this moment, let me tell you what I really see when I read a notation such as the one mentioned above.  When I read the word “perseverate,” I see perseverance—a noun meaning steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

When I see the word “date,” I think of doing an activity with someone you might have a relationship with.

And as for the words “mom and dad,” well those are a given.  And they’re really special, considering Jackson’s origins as an orphan who spent his first five months of life in an orphanage in Ethiopia.  Truly.  Special.  I’m beyond humbled with gratitude over the titles “mom” and “dad.”  It’s one I sport proudly and don’t take lightly.

Sometimes it’s all about perspective.  The definition of which is:  The capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.  Thinking back to that same day, and the expectancy of a date night with Greg, Jackson and our dogs and some Chick-fil-A at the dog park?  I confess.  I perseverated too.  That’s the truth.  It’s the absolute truth.

“Raw”

Munchkin had a seldom-seen stillness about him this morning that was especially apparent on the drive to school.  This stillness allowed for a palpable openness about him–something that I rarely get to see.  Typically, Jackson’s personalty is such that he must be in control at all times.  He is completely and unequivocally in command of his surroundings and the things he allows himself to be exposed to.  He’s a child on high alert.  Some folks tell me this is a good thing, but for me it can be disheartening to constantly be shut down at every turn. There are so many things I would love to do or experience with Jackson that he simply will not have any part of.  And while that’s completely okay, it doesn’t lessen the isolation I sometimes feel, stemming from living in a very thwarted and limited world.  But this morning was different.  Jackson talked.  I listened.  I talked.  He listened.  Did you get that?  WE talked!

This openness allowed a rawness to surface inside me that shattered my soul–a rawness that is oftentimes stifled by the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of parenting.  The utter rawness I felt while driving to school left me broken and humbled beyond description.  I get to be this child’s mom.  Me!  What an absolute privilege!  I am so underserving of this magnificent gift.  How easy it is in parenting a child with developmental challenges and special needs to mistake parenting solely as a serious responsibility (NOT burden, mind you), as opposed to the blessing it truly is.  

My prayer:  Thank you, God, for entrusting us with this precious child of yours. Guide our every breath word, action and reaction, O Lord, as we steward him through his life on earth. Give us your wisdom and knowledge as we raise this child up.  Let you Spirit direct our steps as we teach this precious little one to love you, to love Jesus, and to love all people.  Let us love him with the same love, grace, mercy and peace with which You love us.  Be glorified in all we do, Lord–especially as parents. In the name of your precious Son, Jesus. Amen.

Don’t miss this, folks.  We are blessed!  You and I are so very blessed.  

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward… ~Psalms 127:3