This post is a followup to The Voice of God. There was a part of me I didn’t share earlier because it was the ugly part of me. Yet another part I’m ashamed of. And I’m not talking about the fact that when they were young I couldn’t accept them for who they were, although that is bad enough. No, this is a more recent revelation about how I have treated Buzzard.
I was mean to him. I knew I was, and I couldn’t help it. I know that there were times when I probably made him feel very low. I would have no patience, saying unnecessarily critical things when correcting him, pouncing on his every move, sometimes jumping to the wrong conclusions about his motives and his actions. I, was a bully, and he could do no right.
Why would I do that? I had no earthly idea. It seemed he pushed all my buttons, and I would easily become disgusted with his behavior. The more I pushed for him to meet my standards, the worse he behaved, the more I criticized, like a hamster on a wheel that can’t get off. It bothered me that I responded the way I did. I had no compassion for his struggles, and I began to hate myself for my own actions.
I don’t recall the chain of thoughts that led me to my conclusions. I only know that I suddenly realized that the emotion I was experiencing that caused me to react to him was fear. Fear? Really? Yes. Fear that he was now a teenager, (this fear and my completely inappropriate reaction to it has been going on for a couple of years), and these things that bothered me so much would surely prevent him from succeeding in school, going to college, making friends, getting a job, keeping a job, supporting himself, having a meaningful relationship, getting married, having kids, BEING HAPPY.
What I hadn’t considered, not even for a second, so busy was I trying to make him “acceptable” was that he was as unhappy as anyone could be because he perceived that I didn’t like him–didn’t love him because he could never make me happy. And say what you will about kids with aspergers, they “get” sarcasm, and he got every sarcastic zinger I lobbed at him. And my heart felt worse about that then it ever could about him having no job, no friends, no home, no college degree, no wife and no kids.
The wonderful thing about kids is, it’s never too late. Sometime shortly after I had this enlightenment was when I felt God. I suppose what God gave me was Grace. Without the worry and fear over what his future looked like to me, it was easier to sympathize, give hugs, understand, explain without belittling, praise the little things, overlook childish behavior, listen intently and be the parent I should’ve been all along.
God knows what he’s doing. The gift I received was that suddenly he smiled more, did more things right, tried harder, had more appropriate behavior, and he seemed to me to be like a dying desert flower that had survived the drought and now had plenty of rain along with the sun.
Sometimes I think you have to be willing to let go of what you want in order to have it.