Every morning I wake up my 6 year old son and ask him to get dressed for school and, understandably, he doesn’t to get out of bed. I leave him to get dressed on his own, because he needs to be encouraged to be independent, but I always have to come back 5-10 minutes later to find him still in bed or completely naked in front of the mirror. Up until recently it annoyed me because I expect him to move with the clock. School routine is only a little stressful when you have to get 3 kids dressed and fed for school. Not only does my son take his sweet time getting dressed in the morning, he takes his underwear off along with his pajamas! Why? I ask myself. After 3 years of getting to know my six year old on a “different” light, autism, I’ve learned to stop and question not him but myself, and that on a rhetorical fashion, as to the whys of his behavior. Many times I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that his actions and choices make sense from his perspective. So, when I aim to understand him, his choices and behaviors make sense to me as well.
Getting back to my son’s morning routine, this is not about understanding why he does what he does, this is about something I learned from my little streaker. Sometimes I walk into his room and explain to him he does not need to change his underwear, only his pajamas. The other day, I approached my son’s room, ready to push him along as usual, and there he was, naked, in front of his bedroom window looking at the woods. Suddenly, a thought hit me: if every morning I stripped myself of yesterday’s burdens and clothed myself anew, I’d have a fresh new start every time. “The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; Your faithfulness is abundant!” I found this little piece of treasure in Lamentations 3:22-23. Imagine a morning ritual of clothing ourselves in (or receiving) His never ceasing loyal kindness and His endless compassions! But we first must rid ourselves of the old sweaty pajamas and even the underwear! Whether it was a bad day at work, an embarrassing moment at the store, a failed grade in school, an argument with a loved one, it makes no difference. Shake it all off and start over for His “faithfulness is abundant!” He gives us a new start every single day. It is foolish and useless to try to take on that new start and put it on over our sweaty pajamas and underwear. May you have a nice new start each day stripping yourself of yesterday and putting on God’s never ending kindness and compassions!
journal entry 11/19/2012