Today I find myself sitting on the floor in the waiting room of Community Psychological Service at the University of Missouri in St. Louis (or, as Little calls it, “the USML”) It is the second time in a week that I find myself here. . .the first time on the floor. I came with Little last week; Bubba is the subject today. I brought a laptop with me last Wednesday and struggled to use it propped in my lap while sitting in a chair just tall enough to keep me “on my toes” quite literally. Five hours of that struggle convinced me that there had to be another way. I couldn’t get a laptop today so it’s just me and the iPad. I decided there is no shame in sitting on one of the four empty bean bags and using an empty child-size bench as my desk. I’m four hours in and I am getting so much done.
What are we doing here? Well, it has been a long time since we stirred the developmental delay pot and it was time to do a bit of re-grouping so that plans can be made for the next stages of life. Little is in fourth grade and has been at Promise for three years. While personalized education can’t change ones IQ, I am eager to see what has shifted. It has NOT been fun to fill out all the paperwork necessary. So many standardized evaluative tests that brought back to mind so many things God has graciously kept from constant focus. It is good to remember where she is weak so that we can consider how to help her be the best version of herself – the version God intended. If I am honest, I have relaxed too much because I trust the folks at Promise so much. Hopefully this is a first step toward getting back on the proverbial horse and parenting my baby girl in partnership with her teachers, not in reliance ON her teachers. No more excuses.
Bubba is going through the “same but different” testing today. I believe we need some “up-to-date” stats on the boy. His autism diagnosis was handed out when he was two and he is such a different boy now. I believe there are other things at play and really want an honest read on what those things might be and what resources are out there to help him succeed in life. My hands are open and I wait to see what The Lord has planned for our young man, ASD or no ASD. He is a trooper. . .he thinks all the tests are fun and can’t believe everyone doesn’t get joy from building three dimensional structures that are replicas of those found on the paper.
Part of me misses this. . .being exposed to tired public servants who help families with needy kids. I miss being used to encourage them and the perspective I gain from time in their midst. This morning I found myself answering one of Dr. Green’s questions in a surprising way (for her and me). She was asking about Bubba as a child and I heard myself telling her, “The Lord gave us just what we didn’t know we needed. Little needed so much attention and care, and Bubba was content to sit at a doctor’s office and quietly line up cars for an hour straight; it wasn’t typical and it wasn’t what we wanted, but I can look back and see He was caring for us. Bubba doesn’t do it anymore and hasn’t since he could read. It was just for a season.”
Her reaction is what I miss; she didn’t know what to say but I could watch her face transition from panic to calm as she realized I wasn’t planning to preach to her and was being real with her about what I believe. And then for The Lord to give her 10 hours with my special children. . .I know she will be affected. She has to be because they are such evidence of God’s goodness, graciousness, and love. What a joy!! I miss seeing God use my children’s weaknesses to showcase His strength. It is well-worth six hours at “the USML” on a soccer ball bean bag.
And next week when we are back to get Little’s results I will probably cry as we review how He knit her and He will have to give more grace, just as He promised. Prayerfully my trust in my Savior will shine through my tears and Dr. Green will want to know more about the God we follow. You can pray and I will let you know how it goes.