I live in Florida. I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. I always loved that time of year when the weather started to change cooler and we were able to "fall back." We could turn our clocks back one hour, usually in October each year. I loved getting that extra hour of sleep. How about you?
I am waiting patiently until November 4th this year ... not really. It has been so hot here lately (sometimes the heat index is in the 100s) so my patience maybe hasn't been so great.
I was sitting back and thinking about how I look forward to this time of year and all of a sudden the words "falling back" resonated in my life with my son Charlie.
In August, he started a new school after being at his previous school for over 8 years. It felt like for him that he was "falling backwards," but actually after getting through the initial transition I see it differently now. I actually see it as him "falling forward" now that we are almost 2 months in.
Let me explain.
Our kids as you know make big gains, then sometimes go backwards and have to be retaught some skills.
They progress forward gaining new skills and then then lose some skills. They get rid of maladaptive behaviors and then they come back in addition to new ones. They gain language skills and then they lose some of them.
We as parents try and keep up with the roller coaster rides of being a special-needs parent. Charlie is now 17 and I have seen the highs and lows of our journey and as I look back I have noticed the dips of the roller coaster ride aren't as intense now for the most part and I am grateful. We still work through challenges almost daily but they are less severe and I am able to see the progress he has made no matter how small that is.
When Charlie went to his new school there were many things he wasn't able to do. Actually it wasn't really that he couldn't do the skill but he either never did this skill on his own or he lacked the confidence to do this skill on his own. Once he got through the toughest part of coming to terms with having to do more things on his own, then it started to get better.
The first night of his new school he cried for hours. He kept saying, "This is too much.", "How will I be able to do all of this?" and "I am scared to go back." He shared too that he was overwhelmed with all the new things he had to do by himself. It was hard for me to endure with him. I kept quietly praying that night as he cried asking God to help my Charlie.
I knew that this transition would be ok. I knew that God had led us specifically to this transition, so I was trusting in Him to carry us through it step by step. I knew that our God would never leave us or forsake us. I ended up crying too that night.
I know that as Charlie is being pushed to excel and grow in this new experience, God is pushing me to excel and grow with my son.
I see my son progressing forward even in the midst of the struggle. I see him using the skills that have been taught to him over all these years. I see how God is already working.
"Thank you Lord for always carrying us through those tough times so we can see our falling back moments that can turn into falling forward ones."
What struggles are you going through and how can you look at them as eventually being falling-forward moments?
I pray that you can let Christ carry you as He has carried me.
Patty Myers www.building-pathways.com