small steps

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I’ve been holding this piece of joy close to my heart for a couple days now, and there is just a bit of lightness in my soul. (and only part of it is because football has started again, thank you Jesus.) The smallest of the small things that has just turned my week completely around:  Our son woke up in the middle of the night, we heard the door chime, Wendell went to check on him, and….he told Wendell he was hungry and needed a snack.

Shut the front door.

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you might remember that we have some serious food issues in this house. (From ‘food’ posts earlier this year: Part 1 and Part 2) Brenden has never, never ever, told us he was hungry in the middle of the night. We’ve been up with him while he cries or while he goes to the bathroom, but often in those scenarios, he would allow us to comfort him, put him back to bed, and then later, he would still sneak out of his bed and get into food. He has never once admitted a need like that to us in the middle of the night.

Lest you think I’m making too big a deal of it, it was one of the first things he talked to me about in the morning. It was a big huge deal to him also. We went over the facts of it – he told us what he needed, and then what happened? We got him what he needed. The simple cause/effect relationship that healthy children learn as newborns has never connected for our sweet boy. The connection is fully in place for him yet, but this small step, this miraculous little act of trust on his part, is a foundational building block. We put it on top of every other block that we build when we provide for his needs. When we give him hugs the minute he comes near. When we whisper I love you even in the middle of a rage. When we make snack bags ahead of time for him to feel safer when we’re out of town. When he wakes up and goes to sleep in his own bed, in his own home, in his own family every single day. We are living life, building a solid foundation of love and acceptance and presence to teach our little boy that we are staying put. We’re not going anywhere; he’s not going anywhere. Every need he has we are trying our best to supply.  Day after day after day.

Don’t mistake this for a 'it’s finished’ type of post. This was a very little, maybe even isolated, incident. An incident that shows us, even in the quiet, middle of the night, smallest of ways, that our son is taking a giant step forward. So if I’m laughing more these past few days, it’s because I bear witness to miracle. If I seem more confident and at peace, it’s because I’m feeling the delight that comes when a hurt, scared, fearful little boy is learning to trust. If you see me look at my boy and smile, it’s from the sheer joy of watching him heal.

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