The alarm was set. I had a pile of things to take to church with me that morning. My empty egg cartons to give to Amelia. Money for fresh eggs. (I don’t care what anyone says….(husband)…there is a difference!) The book we are reading through in Lifegroup. My bible. And cans of pumpkin to take to the Cafe to make Pumpkin Glaze for the Beignets. Yes, it is amazing.
The alarm went off and in my typical fashion, I hit snooze. A couple of times. The snooze button is one of the best inventions ever. Am I right?
Shortly after the 2nd snooze my daughter came in to plug in her iPad. If you have ever read anything I’ve written then you know I have a 26 year old daughter who is a person with autism. Although she looks about 15 or 16, she has the developmental skills of a 7-8 year old and sometimes the behaviors of a teenager or a toddler. Depends on the size of the moon!
When Megan was born, she detested being swaddled. Holding her tightly? Nope. Not unless she was sick. And I have to say that there were times when she wasn’t feeling well that I was so happy because she allowed me to cuddle her on the rocking chair. I could hold her close, sing to her and she let me. My baby let me hold her in my arms. My little girl let me cuddle with her. For most, that is an every day occurrence. For my girl with autism, it was a very special occasion.
So this Sunday as she enters my room, she reaches over me and feels the bed. “Where’s Dad?” He’s at work, Megan! So she climbs over me and gets into bed next to me. Lately she’s been laying closer to me than usual. She likes it when my right arm is under her and we share a pillow. But don’t even think about touching her with the left arm. I try…and fail. And try again….and fail. And she usually says “I lay by myself”, even though she’s not really since she’s cuddled up against me and laying on my right arm.
This Sunday was different though. She spooned up against me, pulled her blanket she carried downstairs up over her, laid her head on my pillow, with my arm underneath. And then I put my left arm around her waiting for her to fling it off.
But….she didn’t. She didn’t touch it. I’m certain she noticed it because this child doesn’t miss much, but she didn’t flinch, didn’t say “I’m okay now” or “I lay by myself”. She let me cuddle her. She let me hold her!
Outside of sending two text message (“Megan won’t be there today” and “I’ll get the eggs later”), I didn’t move a muscle. I have asthma and probably because I was overly excited, I needed my inhaler. But to reach for it meant taking my arm off of her. So instead, I did what my brother, sister and I called “breathers” when we were kids. Simple breathing exercises to help calm the panic. I had an itchy nose too but scratching it meant lifting my arm up so I suffered through it.
She fell asleep in my arms and it was pure joy! If you have a child with special needs, you know that you have to rejoice in the little things. And sometimes, the little things are the big things. This was huge. This was church.
A fun, yet wet day at Tate Farms, Meridianville, AL.