Usually I've made peace with most things autism-related (besides any vaccine-related comments, ugh). But sometimes it's the small things that Moose can't do that just frustrate me to no end!
For example: getting him to look me in the eye when he talks is like getting a tooth pulled without Novocain, getting him to pay attention to you when there are mirrors or reflective surfaces around (he loves to look at himself and watch himself talk), getting him to obey the first time (which goes for both kids), getting him to respond to his own name, getting him to stop repeating (which is his echolalia where he repeats movie/tv scripts over and over and over and over and over....). All small things but they just add up.
Tonight, I was trying to get him to learn how to take his temperature the normal way (in the mouth vs. under his arm). We have one of those temporal thermometers but I've never been impressed with the accuracy of it. I showed him how to lift his tongue, I'd slide it under, then place his tongue on top of it and shut his lips around it. Oh my gosh.
He starts to gag - really? I'm nowhere NEAR the back of your mouth!
Then I try to do this step by step. Tongue up and he kind of gives me what we call his angry tongue (rolls it underside toward you pressed up to his teeth...hard to explain unless you've seen it). No, just gently up. Now, tongue down. No, not to the side. No, not curled. No, just down. Up, down, up, down, up, down. OK let's try. No you can't pull your tongue out and put it under the thermometer.
Anyway. It was ugly. I yelled. I made him cry. Awful.
And then the enemy starts to whisper, "wow, your kids would be so much better off without you." I've heard this lie so many times and I've believed it. I started to believe it tonight. And then the Holy Spirit made me realize that they would NOT be better off without me and, yes, I sucked it up at this moment, but I've had great moments all day with them. My good moments of discipling them to be joyful, patient, peaceful, kind, gentle, self-controlled followers of Christ far outshine the moments of sinful horribleness that I've also put into their lives.
I want so badly to be the perfect mother. I want it so so badly. And yet, I know that I can't be. I am a sinner, saved by grace, but nonetheless a sinner. And I have to try my hardest and pray and rely wholly on the Spirit to help me be patient, kind, and self-controlled (etc) and I will do great. I will be the mom that they need. I will be the mom that the Lord has planned for me to be. And I do it, not out of my own power (because as you can see from tonight's episode of Freaking Out Moms, I suck), but out of the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus Christ from the DEAD! The DEAD. That same Spirit abides in ME and I have that power.
So, moms, take heart when you feel like you suck. If you believe Jesus Christ died for your sins and is your Savior without any "good" works that you've done (because none of our best works are truly good enough), then you have this same Spirit inside of you. You don't have to mother alone! You have the God of the Universe to carry you through. Amen!!