In my last post I was talking about how some days are just THOSE days, where Josiah's system just isn't working well at all and creating all sorts of misbehavior, where I'd rather hide at home than go anywhere in public. Those are the days I'm tempted to cancel any plans we've made (and sometimes actually do). Of course it would work out that today would be one of those days -- just to see what I would do, perhaps?
Some close friends of ours will be moving to a new city a two-hour drive away in just a few weeks and had invited us over for dinner tonight. Not only do I enjoy this couple as people, but they are foodies at heart and always making yummy new foods -- and are awesome at finding recipes that work for our difficult-to-feed gfcfsf diet issues. All this to say, I was really looking forward to dinner! And so it should have come as no surprise that Josiah would be having a rough day from the start. This couple happens to be incredibly great with Josiah, bringing out great things in him and in us -- they are two of only a small handful of people in our lives who tell us they actually enjoy our son, as opposed to the more common responses indicating tolerance but not enjoyment -- so I didn't feel the need to call off the dinner, but I wasn't sure how it would all go, either. As usual, I hoped for the best and braced for the worst.
Dinner turned out about as I expected -- the food was awesome, company was great, and Josiah was crazy. Not just a tad crazy, but pretty off-the-charts crazy -- bouncing off the walls, doing "yoga" with mouthfuls of food, throwing balls around the room, and he couldn't seem to figure out how to make his mouth work to drink juice from a commuter cup. As frustrating as days like this are (and believe me they are frustrating), I almost prefer the super-crazy days to the only-slightly-off-kilter days. (Of course, I prefer the all-systems-go smoothly running days the best, but they tend to be fairly few and far between.) On the only-a-bit-off kinds of days, it's easy to forget just how much Josiah really is dealing with, how much he is coping with and managing that we don't even see. Because he seems "almost normal" it's easier to fall into the trap of expecting more from him than he is really capable of giving. These super crazy nothing-seems-to-be-firing-right-at-all kinds of days are good reminders of just how pervasive his sensory issues really are.
On evenings like tonight I can look at my child and see, without any question, how so many of his issues trace fully back to sensory processing challenges. In these times when he is not managing his behavior well at all, when he is able to put so little of his usual intelligence, motivation and funny demeanor to work at covering the problems, when his challenges are right at the forefront for all to see, I am reminded so powerfully just how much grace he needs, and how much praise he deserves for keeping it together to the level that he does on most days.
Sometimes I wish his special needs were more visible, convincing myself that if people (including me) could actually see his challenges that they'd somehow be easier to deal with, less frustrating and embarassing. I know that isn't true, that such a granted wish would come with a whole host of other issues to deal with, and I remind myself to be grateful for just what we have. And as crazy as it might sound, days like today actually make that gratitude much easier to grasp.
So today, in my thankfulness campaign, I'm thankful for two things: (1) for having far less to deal with than many families do, and (2) for the "crazy days" like this that help keep things in perspective!
Thanks for joining me along the journey! I'd love to hear what you want to know ... do you have questions about sensory processing disorder, gluten-free/dairy-free diets, homeschooling, faith, life in general? Send me a note or post a comment and I'll try to write something that addresses your interests and questions!