Last week’s post was about Jacob returning to his day program after being out a year. You can check it out here: https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2021/03/11/one-year-later/
History told me that the 2nd day could, more than likely, be difficult for him. I was prepared for battle if you will, but it wasn’t necessary.
We had decided on a transition of only attending 2-3 days a week at first so after Monday and Tuesday went great, we decided for him to go one more day. Let him sleep in on Wednesday as he was obviously tired from this new routine.
The new plan was he would return on Thursday, making it his third day back.
I went in and woke him gently. Had Alexa playing music he likes, opened the blinds, etc. I returned to the kitchen giving him space and time to get up.
Shortly afterward, he came in (with crooked pants). I had some breakfast ready and went to open the refrigerator to grab him something to drink.
Here’s where everyday life gets painfully real. All of a sudden, he went crazy on me. In his trying to stop me from getting the juice, he grabbed a shelf off the door and gave it a yank. And it went flying. Yes. It. Did. You know how unexpected things can happen so quickly and yet be in slow motion. That’s how this felt, plastic hitting the floor, breaking and pieces bouncing, shelf contents on the floor, and me frantic to keep Jacob from stepping on a sharp piece.
Mike was outside but heard the commotion and came to my rescue. There’s a saying ‘things went from bad to worse’. Well on the third day, they started out at worse.
Once the kitchen was back in order, I went to get Jacob’s clothes changed. He stripped to his birthday suit. And was determined to stay that way. Anything I approached him with to wear, he snatched and tossed it across the room. His dad intervened. Pretty sure we were both thinking it sure would be easier to let him stay home. Except my determination wasn’t willing to let his behavior be the reason.
I had to pull out what I feel is a last resort and it was a chill pill. He was so rattled by then, it was the best way to give him some relief. I gave him half and waited for him to calm down. Offered him breakfast multiple times but he refused.
Go back with me an hour before I woke Jacob. I had read a devotional early that morning and it really spoke to me. Mainly because I thought it might be helpful to a friend. I sent it to her and we had a sweet text exchange. I had no idea how these words from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp were needed for me on that day:
Yes, your life is messy and hard, but that’s not a failure of the plan; it is the plan. It’s God working to complete what he’s begun in you.Paul David Tripp
I had wanted so badly to not do anything that would cause Jacob to have a crummy start to his day. I didn’t. That is autism and bless his heart, it is how he deals. How he communicates and I have to listen with my heart. I had texted a few people asking for calming prayers. He needed time and space to be able to do that.
It often comes in the form of something we never would have chosen to go through if we were controlling the joystick.Paul David Tripp
I thought about how brave he was to return at first so seamlessly. In all reality, I am fully aware there will always be hard days. Have had plenty and there will be plenty more.
He willingly got in the van a while later and willingly got out at the center. I didn’t hear from the staff which was a good sign.
I wasn’t prepared for battle on the third day. But God was and gave us what we needed when it mattered.
God is faithful; he will use the brokenness of the world that is your present address to complete the loving work of personal transformation that has begun.Paul David Tripp
When we picked him up, he had had another good day. I even got a handwritten note that said: We are so happy to have Jacob back at the center. We sure did miss him!