It was just a trip to the dentist. After a long day at school. How can you ask a hyper active boy to sit still to get his teeth cleaned after he sat for 7 hours in school?! Clearly this wasn't well planned. But I digress. Because there we were at the dentist, which to a curious boy is a world of wonder. "What's this? What about that? Are you going to use this?" Every single instrument. Every single contraption. He met Mr. Thirsty, the suction that drinks the water from the hose "that's like a fire hydrant." At one point he kicked his shoes off and propped his feet on the arm of the overhead light. Yes he did. The sweet, gentle hygienist- heaven help her. "Just a few more sweetie. I've got to get all your teeth honey." And then he called her out "But aren't you doing ALLLL my teeth? Then you lied because you said just a few more." He wanted to know what was next. He needed to touch and understand each instrument being used.
My nerves were nearly shot. "Don't touch that. Stop moving. Stay still. Open your mouth. Don't talk. Keep your hands down." Then the baby started fussing. Oh yes. She wanted to eat. Of course she did.
I guess I looked as stressed as I felt because another hygienist came over to check on me. "He sure is active, isn't he? He just can't sit still." The observation didn't amuse me, nor did it strike up a conversation because I was over the whole thing.
It was just a trip to the dentist. And I sat there thinking how something as simple as this becomes an ordeal. Some of you won't get it. Some won't understand at all. Some will think I'm just complaining. I'm not. But some things are just hard.
See that square peg? That's my boy. My amazingly talented, wonderfully creative, super inquisitive, desperately strong willed, tender hearted boy. See that round hole? Well, that's where society wants to put him. And the reality? Well, you know how it goes. It just won't fit. And you know what?! I'm more than okay with it!
I get it. I understand the expectation. I get the nature of the beast. The standardized everything that supposedly measures ability. The truth is it doesn't account for the natural inclination of the mere fact that God made each and every one of us unique in His own image. He didn't use a standardized anything. He used Himself so the only measure for success in my mind should be whether or not one's heart is after God's.
You've heard all the impossibilities of the bible stories of old. Moses stuttered. David was a runt. Joseph was despised by his brothers. Mary was an unwed teenager. John the Baptist was homeless. Paul was a murderer. Jesus Himself was not of this world in a blended family and considered a liar and probably crazy.
So please, for the actual love of God, don't tell me what my son can't do. Let me show you how great he is at creating something out of nothing. Take a moment to explore a mind that sees things for what they can be. What looks like trash to you (and me) is a piece of something that I promise you he will make great.
This isn't about labels or disabilities. This is about the hands of God who formed him in utter seclusion and planned each moment of his life. Even a fateful trip to the dentist. This is about the fact that God Himself chose to bless him with such uniqueness that all of us who know and love him stand back and marvel with expectation because we just can't wait to see what he will one day do with all this ingenuity and energy. The hard days don't come without hopeful anticipation of that one day when the things that make him "different" will finally be recognized as what makes him so great.
I know not everyone gets it. And I know some even consider his lack of falling in order as some great parental flaw. I got some of those looks today. Believe me, I've asked myself the same. Have I somehow done something wrong? Should I be doing something differently? My mind doesn't work like his and as frustrated as that can make me, I have to stop and wonder how much more frustrated he must be in his own skin when he can't communicate to all of us "normal" people how he sees and does things unlike me. He teaches me everyday. And he keeps me on my knees. But as many prayers as I pray over him each day, the most important is that he will become the person God created him to be. I don't want him to fit into a space he doesn't belong. I want him to be comfortable enough to kick his shoes off and prop his feet up and be himself. His wonderful, creative, active self. That's my boy.