Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guess Who's Back!

-from Jeremy

A gap in communication is one of those things that vary in acceptance depending on the relationship. I can go for a long time without talking to a State Trooper and it doesn't bother me. If I go a few hours without talking to Christy, then I lose my bearings a little. I don't know where this blog ranks in those standings, but I think by any measure it's been too long.

Some of you may well ask why we have abandoned our post (tee hee, pun intended), and some of you may not have noticed at all. There is no one reason why the spigot of hilarity and reality was squelched - it's the conspiracy of the mundane. Everything in life can pile up on you at times, right? For us, the pile consists mostly of feces with some mental illness sprinkled on top.

So, if you're curious about the 2nd-grade-aged boy running around my backyard in nothing but the skin the good Lord gave him for covering, yes, that is one of my sons. If your mind is of the steel-trap variety and you clench onto the question of, "what happens if he poops?" then your answer would be, "familiar calamity." He doesn't like clothes. And since he has endured more pain and difficulty in his short 7 years than most of you have known in your entire family tree, he gets to be naked in the backyard if he wants. I assume in the preceding statement that your family tree doesn't comprise surviving genocide or multiple generations living under the same bridge.

Josiah occasionally poops in the yard. Yes, from time to time the unthinkable becomes reality. I actually prefer the carport poop to the grass by the fence poop, but opinions will vary. Christy will likely say that the grass provides a natural mechanism to bio-degradation, but I like to know where poop is in relation to my feet, and therefore prefer the concrete. The tricky one is the traveler. This is a road-trip of a poop that may start in the shady environs of the carport but then move through the driveway and end by the swing set.

If we get lucky, then we catch him in the act. He is never allowed to be alone, yet watching him jump and holler in the yard can wear on the senses, so some of his guards will distract themselves. Olivia is more bookish than even myself, and our shared downfall is the page-turner that becomes the turd-smeller. Christy loves her some social media on her iPhone, but often will get a friend request she wasn't expecting. Jack doesn't require outside influence to be distracted - he is perpetually distracted. Jack can be literally standing on the offensive element and not realize it's disposition. As I've told him many times, in that father voice I've learned to affect, "one day you're gonna get hit by a bus."

Why do we put up with it? Why don't we do something? Well, what? After you've chased him down and diapered him for the umpteenth time, you start to feel like a Republican Congressman and just give up. You tell yourself that he pooped earlier and maybe you'll get lucky. Such delusion. You become dulled by his repetitious activity and think he won't deviate. A fool's paradise. Then he gets still all at once and it's all over but the Clorox.

Listen closely, my beloved. He was gonna die. You heard me, the doctors at the prestigious university medical center had given us a small chance at him surviving. Yes, we had heard the same thing about his brother Jack a few years before, but one is not bold in these matters. He was in a tight spot, medically speaking. We were terrified. We trusted God. We prayed that our little boy not escape our grasp as soon as he fell into it. Just let him live, Lord. And he lived. And he is still living! He's a fruitcake with nuts for icing, but he's ours and he's an answer to prayer.

So I put the question to any of you with precious little ones that are the apple of your eye. Would you rather them be snatched from your life or poop in your yard? I think I know the answer.

*For those parents looking for tips on how to prevent fecal smearing, check out our post entitled Poo Diggers. These outfits have been tremendously helpful, but, in the heat of the summer, Josiah insists on stripping when outside. And for's not worth the meltdown.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy 40th Dad and Mom!

-from Christy

I can't think of a better post to write than this one upon our return to the blog. We have had a long break for various reasons that will be explained in future posts, but today I want to focus on two people who make living with Autism a little easier every day.

My Daddy and Mama started dating when he was in college and she was in high school. Mama's brother John Lee was my Daddy's roommate at Bob Jones University. Mama has often told me that she knew she wanted to marry my Daddy when she was just fifteen years old. Today marks their 40th year of marriage, but, in some ways, I bet they feel like it was just yesterday when he took her on his college dating outing.

I had a blessed childhood, and my parents made a home full of faith, love, and service. They argued infrequently, and, when they did disagree, they made up quickly. They taught my older brothers and me the importance of loving God, loving each other, and loving others. If someone was to ask me to pinpoint the single most influential lesson my parents taught me, it would be "to do my best in whatever God calls me to for the glory of God and the eternal good of others." My Daddy always says to Finish well.

Often I think about the fact that my parents are not just grandparents to children with special needs. They are also parents to a daughter and son-in-law who have some pretty unique needs. They have had to actively parent me far longer than they probably ever imagined, but they have done this in love without ever complaining. When we need them, they are always there. They choose to help us in practical ways that make a huge difference in our ability
to just keep going. My parents greatest desire is to see us Finish well.

How does all this relate to Autism? I thank God every day that my parents taught me to focus on eternity. This life is not all there is. God has a perfect plan for us and our children, and we can trust in that on good days and bad. My parents have a marriage that has stood the test of time and trials. They have experienced joy and sorrow together, and their example is one that gives me such confidence in God's sovereignty and love for His children. They are the best parents and grandparents I know. They give me an even greater desire to Finish well.

Dad and Mama thank you for your faith, love, and support. Thank you for still taking care of me, and for so sacrificially caring for my family! Happy 40th Anniversary!

Daddy and Mama with their 40th Anniversary present (pictures of all the grandkids)!