Tag Archives: God

Braces + Aspie = ?

Eleven years ago he popped out two cute little front teeth. Then he popped out another two. Oh, he was the cutest little thing on the planet! At least, this mother can say that and be completely telling the truth, according to a mother’s prerogative. Back in the naïve days of parenting a first-born, we didn’t think about those two little teeth turning into a whole mouth that needed some serious adjustments. We just adored our little guy with cutesy-wootsy, itsy-bitsy teefers.

I had seen my friends’ and relatives’ kids all lose their cute little baby teeth and enter the “awkward” stage. Not saying they weren’t just the cutest little awkward kids ever, but still, the stage where the teeth are bigger than their faces, awaiting the adult head was an obvious stage to look forward to. Ahem. J-man hit that stage early because his big ol’ teeth came in earlier than his peers. He lost his first teeth just after he turned five.

Fast forward a few years and those teeth and his upper jaw moved forward noticeably and we knew we were in for a dental bill that we couldn’t afford to ignore. We started saving early. Now we are paying those dues and will be doing so for a spell.

Today was the day. It was the day he had looked forward to, in a dread sort of way, for a long time. We had prepped him with pictures, videos, a prep appointment…you name it. We were being proactive, but not in a crazy, in-his-face sort of way. We were very balanced about it, knowing his proclivity towards anxiety.

He has matured and grown so much emotionally that I didn’t really see the semi-trailer full of Anxious before it hit. We were having a normal day yesterday when we mentioned that tomorrow would be braces day. Enter tears of frightful proportions that we have not seen in a good long while. Whoa! This did not bode well. He asked his 1000 questions, I answered as best I could. I prayed, asked my Mom and Dad to pray and asked them to ask their prayer chain to pray. Can’t have too much prayer, I say.

This morning we get up to the usual 1000 more questions and my 873 answers. I secretly place an Ativan in my purse…for him, not me, though I eyeballed the dosage to see if it would be strong enough for an anxious mother. Just kidding…I also placed a stress ball and some natural homeopathic stress meds. I was so ready. Bring. IT. ON!

The Orthodontist office is the cleanest I’ve ever been in. Of course, it’s the only Ortho office I’ve been in. They make you take off your shoes outside the door and give you “sterilized DAWGS” to wear. I like it.

We entered and waited. J-man was noticeably amped up but doing really well. He hadn’t cried for at least an hour! A lady that we had not yet met called us in. J-man thrives when life is predictable so throwing in a new (but not new to the office) gal into his life messed with him right from the get-go. She was nice but definitely had the air of “don’t mess with me”. Right away he got super nervous, shaking and defiant looking. I know he’s not really defiant but really over-the-top freaked out, but she interpreted his mood as defiance and tried to lay down the law. It spooked him even more.

Eventually, we got him convinced to lay down, but he was still super freaked. He was shaking all over. After a very noisy half of an hour, the Ortho Dr. came in and said we should probably shut it down for today but that we’d have to wait for another 2 months and then try again. I really didn’t want to do this again. Not the anxiety, not the panic…none of it. I got down in front of J-man and had the best pep talk in a long while. I talked to him of how I didn’t care what he looked like. I knew he was an amazing kid whether he had the same teeth or whether they were fixed. I told him that God shone in his life no matter what too. I reminded him that HE had wanted his teeth changed. I told him that he would be healthier for it too. I let him think that he had some control over whether he got braces or not. I’d like to think I wasn’t fibbing…Little by little he calmed. I remembered to pray. As he lay back down, I laid my hand on his ankle and started praying for him. I wondered why in the world it had taken me so long! Immediately, he started to calm. The rest of it was done in less time than all the talking took. He was almost relaxed as they finished up. It only took over three times as long, as it usually takes, but we got ‘er done!

I was so proud of how he worked through the incredible amounts of internal distress to get through a very undesirable circumstance. The sensory aspects of getting braces is  unbelievable when you are a person with an extra sensitive system. His head area is his most crazy-making part of him. I am bursting with mama pride!

I realize that God is the real reason that we got through this seemingly innocuous procedure. I raise my hands in praise to the King of Creation. He made our child who he is. I am excited to see him progress and become the man he was created to be. Even these “simple” circumstances, that are monumental tasks for our boy, are ones that shape who he is becoming. God is doing a good work in our son.

Braces + Aspie = One proud and thankful Mom. There were moments we could have left the office minus the braces, but we left with braces and boy intact.

YIPEE!!

Now to figure out the high-tech tooth-brush. Why can’t they make that simple?

Stepping into the next stage

Klein Lake, Near Panther River, West of Sundre
Klein Lake, Near Panther River, West of Sundre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life passes by much too quickly these days, and my wish to slow the pace, increases.

One family misses a child tonight and they won’t get to hold her again. My friend’s niece passed away from an accident and their family will never again see the beautiful smiles that radiated from her. They will have a hole in their lives and family unit that she had once filled.

My heart has been reminded of my own loss, as I remember my own brother’s passing from an accidental drowning and how that placed a space in our family…and empty place. Our family forever changed by a moment.

I miss a child tonight. It feels like there is a hole in our little brood tonight. The likelihood of his return is likely and yet the terror that tries to infiltrate my heart is hard to fend off as I have these thoughts of loss so very present in my heart.

I came home and there was evidence of him on every corner. His collection of holes under the trampoline indicate the love for his salamander, who is given fresh earth worms every morning. His dirty sheets are reminders that I really need to teach him some responsibility. His lonely sister is indicative of what kind of older brother he is.

I cried. I am not afraid to admit, a piece of fear that I may never hug him again always tugs at my heart when I have to let him go, bit by bit. From my experience of loss comes the temptation to fear when I have to let him try and do things on his own. Not because he has always wanted to, but because I knew in the end it was good for him.

When I let him go to preschool at 3 yrs. old for 3 days a week, friends thought I should probably have kept him home closer to me and not send him away too soon. That preschool was the beginning of a very good thing. They helped him immeasurably…and me as well. But I cried. For weeks, as I dropped him off in the mornings, I secretly cried. I wanted to take him home. Protect him from whatever was happening. Make him feel safe.

When he started Kindergarten in a new school, I cried. I knew he would be confused because it wasn’t the same place that he had gone to school and there were all so many new things. Good people surrounded him and made sure that even if there were moments that were scary, he was safe.

I have been the person he goes to for information on what the world is saying to him. I am his interpreter for many situations. I can guess what he’s thinking, and reassure him. I can tell him what certain events or social situations mean and calm him down. I can talk him down from the proverbial emotional ledge. I can remind him to do things that he forgets to do.

There were a few nail biting moments this week. Our J-man was SO looking forward to camp and we had not received a letter confirming his registration nor gotten a call. I left messages and emails hoping to know whether or not to send him. By today, we just decided to pack up and go for it. He was as ready as ready does. We went to the camp, and sure enough they had not registered him. He was on the waiting list. Since he was there…they found the ONE extra bed they had open in a boys cabin. Answer to prayer, OH MY!! Thanks be to Jesus, who knew my son’s heart was ready for this. I asked J-man what he would do if they couldn’t find a spot for him. “I’d DIE.” Well, that won’t happen because you got in!!!  Yay!  Scary moments though.

This week I will miss my boy so much. He is my buddy, my pal. My incessant source of conversation. But I know this is the right thing for us to do. He is growing up and this is such a big step in his development. He may not clean his glasses for a week. That’s ok. HE may not change his clothes for a week and maybe never shower or put deodorant on. He may make farting or meowing noises and I pray that kids don’t laugh at him.

I hope he finds community there. I pray he is accepted for who he is and loved and taken in. I pray that God will be there in his times of anxiety, of which there will be many moments, I’m sure. I pray that he will meet God there and that his heart will be taken by the wonder of the Creator. May he be encouraged and strengthened in his faith as he branches out in this bold step of development.

What others see as a regular thing in childhood (going to camp), I look at with wonder. Has he come this far already and is he ready for this? Be still, my mother heart.

We were sitting on the lawn of the camp and I asked him if he was ready for me to go. He said “Not yet.” meaning that he still needed me but sometime very soon he would not need me. Within minutes his counsellor called his name to play basketball…I was on my way.  We were both not totally ready but there was the moment.

“I love you, son.”

“I love you too, mom.”

And we both stepped into a new stage in our lives.