Wednesday, March 20, 2013
over the course of the weekend harrison managed to punch me, scratch my face and pinch me. the punch and the scratch were in an effort to defend/stand up for/be on the side of graham. it was harrison's misguided effort at being a good big brother. the pinch seemed to be completely random and we still can't quite figure out what was going on in his head other than what he told us which was "i thought it would be fun".
these things happened after my feedback/counseling session at STAR last friday which visually showed me (literally on video) how defensive harrison is with regard to touch. he tends to scoot away from me, shift his position or get up and move in order to create distance between us. as i was watching the video, the counselor or "coach" - i like the word coach - said, "that hurts". meaning it hurts MY feelings when he does that.
they are slow, almost subliminal, shots to my heart.
and then yesterday, at the tail end of our first occupational therapy session at STAR, harrison was acting silly. i started acting silly with him (which included touching him) and he turned around and started kicking me. lord help me. so...he can be silly but i can't be silly back? or he can be silly and i can be silly back but not in that way? or maybe he just didn't like how i touched him? can you see why this is so confusing and frustrating for me?
how in the world do i figure out what to do and when to do it and what to say and when to say it and what to touch and when to touch it? clearly, this is all quite painful for me. it's no wonder i spent the better part of two hours in tears with coach lisa last friday!
but here's the opposite scenario...
yesterday afternoon the boys and i were playing upstairs in the master bedroom. because i had just switched out the sensory bin to make it easter themed, all the valentine's contents were sorted out on my bed. when i wasn't looking harrison put together a valentine for me. he brought it over and handed it to me. i smiled and said...
me: what's this?
harrison: a valentine.
me: what does it mean?
harrison: i love you.
me: you do?!
me: well, i need to make a valentine for you! (i stand next to him while we both make valentines)
me: what are you making now?
harrison: a bigger valentine. this one is for you too.
me: wow! thanks buddy. here's your valentine. it means i love you.
harrison: thank you.
clearly, that was an incredibly beautiful and heart-healing moment for me.
here's the thing, there can be no good unless there is also bad. you can't know pleasure unless you've experienced pain. you can't have tenderness without toughness. you don't recognize gentleness without also having seen roughness. it's newton's third law. it's also "this law at work: although i want to do good, evil is right there with me. so then, in my mind i am a slave to god’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. thanks be to to god, who delivers me through jesus christ our lord!" (romans 7:21-24)
there are extremes which are constantly at work around us.
i can take the punches because i also get the valentines.
if i'm honest, although i'd rather do without them, the punches make the valentines all the sweeter. if i'm really honest, the only reason i can take the punches is because of jesus. i used to have a roommate who said, "anything good you see in me is jesus. anything bad you see in me is me". it is only because of jesus that i don't haul off and hit, scratch and pinch in return. it is only because of him that i am able to endure the bad and enjoy the good. it is only because of jesus that i am able to find the "just enough" in each day. it is only because of him that a valentine reveals itself as more than just enough.
we humans tend to shy away from extremes. we like to live in the middle. in the grey area. in the postmodern what's-right-for-you-is-right-for-you-and-what's-right-for-me-is-right-for-me area. in the politically-correct area. in the afraid to offend anyone area. and, listen, i'm not saying those things are all bad. i don't think we should walk around offending others. i believe in love. i believe in tolerance. more than that, quite frankly, i believe my opinion is not that important! and yours really isn't either! (no offense, of course).
what is important is god.
and god is extreme.
he loved us extremely. he loves us extremely.
and it's only because of him that i, too, can love my son.
even in the extremes.