Courage is packing four bags. All the kids except the oldest have youth conference this weekend. It’s just ward level- so they are still local- but still… the Leaders had no idea what they were asking of me – or what they were getting themselves into when they asked for me to include my circus. They don’t really believe me about the difficult parts of high functioning Autism that are usually hidden, You know what, maybe it’s best not to tell them.
But, even tho’ they had not had enough time to decompress after school (DK in particular had to just drop his backpack and get in the van as soon as his bus got here). I decided to leave it all in the Lord’s hands. It was the most beautiful afternoon yesterday; the temperature was mild, and the skies were amazing with awesome clouds. As I drove in to the park where they were gathering, the sun was playing with huge “Heaven’s windows” and it felt like it was just for us. In spite of the stress of one of the hardest weeks I can remember, I felt calm and prepared… I had even managed to find the time to print them up little ID cards that had Autism calming info on one side (courage poems for my NT sweety) and their LDS login info on the inside, and clipped the cards to their belt-loop (in the wallet for Brand.) I think it’s a great idea to have the kids do a family search project and get their own names to do baptisms for the dead- but the leaders just expect the kids to remember all those passwords like a normal kid, so I just have to get creative to compensate.
Then I had to walk away. The leaders would have said nothing if I felt a need to stay for a while, but my asd hubby and oldest needed me too. And I wanted my kids to feel just like the other kids- sort of. So I took myself back towards the van. Behind me, I could hear my beautiful TeaRose already getting that sound in her voice no one else can hear…that says she is still having fun, but getting very tired from the noise, and chaos and social drain. I kept walking up the grassy hill to the parking lot. Courage. Looking back, the leaders were playing ultimate frisbe with all the kids- except my Brand, who was sitting alone on the grass and watching. Sigh. Courage to keep moving and get in the van, leaving him looking so forlorn. Courage to let it go and wait to see how it all turns out. Today, I know I will need to build up my stamina. to handle all their stresses that they will wait till they are safe in my arms to show. Courage to have the faith that the Lord will make it a good thing for their growth and experience.
Then as I drove away, the sun dipped lower, and exploded into the most beautiful sunset we have had for a very long time. I suppose Courage is different things on different days, but this is what courage was today. Today, I made it. And I think Heaven is happy.