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How many of you have a son you would consider to be a challenge? A boy that you butt heads with daily? Someone who challenges everything you thought you knew about parenting?
I have one too.
This is a much larger story than one post can handle so I’ll start with a brief introduction and the exciting event that happened yesterday.
My Son is now 13, almost 14 in April, and I want you to know our story. In small portions.
I hear so often from mothers with difficult children saying how they could never homeschool “that child” because someone would get hurt. It is for this very reason my husband and I have chosen to homeschool our son and keep him close. I knew from the earliest days that no one could possibly love my son more than me. No one could understand his heart as I could.
Through the long days and endless nights without rest, we struggled for some peace. He didn’t speak much in the early years, so we taught him to sign which helped the temper tantrums, some what. Our nights were spent trying to figure out why Joshua would wake up screaming bloody murder. After seven years of restless nights, and longer days it took one trip to a Mind clinic to get some relief.
Joshua was, at 7 years old, diagnosed with being on the high end of the Autism Spectrum. He didn’t seem to have the vocabulary to help him understand his world. Therefore every event was a 10/10 on the scream scale. Over the months he and I learned how to communicate. Using colors to indicate mood, and numbers 1-10 to describe an event. A green mood meant he was calm and teachable, a red mood was angry and unmovable. “This is not a 10” was a common saying to help calm him down when his pencil broke.
Needless to say homeschooling was not as important as our relationship was.
Whenever I have been given the privilege of speaking to an audience of homeschoolers I try to express the importance of relationships over academics.
God gave you children and more important then their math, reading or writing is their heart. Kids can’t flourish in stressful environments any more than we can. Having a challenging kid takes patience and the willingness to be the parent in all seasons.
Fast forward to yesterday.
We live just 30 minutes from a ski resort where I grew up skiing. The common question I get asked is if my kids ski. The really quick and honest answer is that it’s far too expensive. However, the long answer involves me telling them how anxious I am that Joshua will be inconsolable and fly off the chair lift. Crazy idea, I know!
There was this one time he chucked a golf club and got himself kicked off the team. Threw a dump truck at the preschool teacher. Lost his calm at the grocery checkout and I left without any groceries. Refused to come down the side of a mountain, where he was completely safe and harnessed. Screamed all the way to our car ending a backpacking trip. And on it goes.
So I have some healthy concern that skiing might not go well.
Much to my amazement, he loved it. There were no incidents to report and I am one proud mom.
Restoring the years the locusts have eaten.
I know this post is jumbled up, so if you have arrived here, thank you. Telling our story is a bit overwhelming. Knowing where to start and where to end is hard.
Those first seven years were very dark for me. I struggled to understand if anything I was doing was right. I’m sure I asked even more of Joshua than I should have, which led to those blow-outs. I can’t go back but God can sure bring restoration ahead.
Today, you would hardly know that Joshua and I had those years. He and I still butt heads as any teenager and his mom would, but no one is losing any sleep. He gets his work done with minor complaints.
God has done amazing work in Joshua and I feel honored to be his mother. To get a first-hand glimpse at who he will become are the treasures I store up. Yes, homeschooling him has been challenging, but nothing compares to knowing Joshua.
Joshua has excepted Jesus Christ as His savior a few years back and I believe that has made all the difference.