Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lights in Dark Spaces

Dan was sitting at the dining room table with the kids, teaching them about electricity. Several years ago I'd bought this toy with circuits and light bulbs and all kind of sounds, where kids can make the connections, with an adult's help, and watch what happens.

This is not my thing at all. I am so not technically oriented, so I busied myself cleaning the kitchen, my ear tuned to the other room.

"See? You can't see electricity," Dan was saying. "But you can watch what happens. You can see what it does."

I thought of tucking Ethan into bed awhile back, saying prayers. But I can't SEE God, he was saying. He sounded indignant. I didn't have a good answer. Who says parents ever have all of the answers? I looked out at a tree and watched it sway with the breeze. God is like the wind, I said. You can't see it, but see the way it moves things?

This month is Thanksgiving, and everyone's talking about gratitude. I've got about 12 Facebook friends all counting day by day, what they are thankful for. I love it. I'd much rather read that than people's political rants. I read and feel uplifted. And I remember...

November makes me think. November is Ethan's birthday, and November marked both when he started early intervention services and started school for the first time. Every time I think of both those milestones, I know.

I know that I'm not alone.

I know that God is at work even when my eyes are too blurred with tears to see and my heart is pounding too hard to hear.

Three years ago, just when I felt completely overwhelmed and discouraged, with a binder full of photocopied hand-outs on what I might possibly do to help my son's autism, just when I felt as if I had no idea how to move on or how to have hope, the most upbeat and inventive therapist arrived at our front door. She was Ethan's cheerleader; she was the question-answerer and idea-generator; she was someone to talk to when there weren't too many people to talk to, for an entire year.

And just when we were preparing to say our tearful goodbyes and move into a new phase, two years ago I was introduced to the special education teacher and speech pathologist at Ethan's school. And while it was hard to get used to sending my son somewhere and not having a therapist in my home to bounce ideas off of, they have always been there for me, and more importantly, for Ethan.

They make themselves available to meet, whenever I need to meet, even when they know sometimes it's just me needing to talk and make a connection; to ask questions; to seek clarification. They schedule the extra time for me at parent-teacher conferences because they know I need it.
They just started a social skills group for Ethan and two boys, two days a week, 20 minutes before his school day starts, in addition to his regular speech, because they know that's what these kids need.

I have had my qualms with school, and back in the day I had my qualms with some of Ethan's early therapies, but I can never deny: there have always been people placed in my path to help just when I needed it most.

So many, many people, when I stop and really look. They would make up a hundred other stories, if I chose to recount every one of them here.

Looking back, looking ahead, I can see them...those lights in dark tunnels, leading the way through; shining the path toward the next leap of faith, the next great adventure.

1 comment:

Floortime Lite Mama said...

November is a special time for me too ( R's birthday )
You are so right for those special angels those kindly lights that lead the way