Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Just made a strange connection about worldview and parenting.  I had a lovely conversation with my friend Becky (aka my "Autism/RDI guru") this weekend.  Becky goes to our church and homeschools 6 kids including 1 with autism.  She's really dedicated to Relationship Development Intervention and has often been my pep-squad and motivator when I'm on the (frequent) verge of giving up.  Becky reiterated the RDI mantra: remediating autism in our kids is "a marathon, not a sprint."  I kind of thought I understood that, but lately I'm learning about it at a new level . . .

When I see that Vasant still doesn't have the motor control at nearly 9 years old to brush his teeth, or that his 4 year old sister can easily ride her bike faster than him, I don't really wince anymore.  He'll get there, eventually.  What's sometimes harder is when I see him completely overwhelmed and unable to handle situations that even a toddler or 2 year old can easily negotiate, like how to join in a game of chase or peek-a-boo, that it tears my heart again.  Times like that, I'm still tempted to doubt that we've really made any progress at all in these last 4 years.  It doesn't always help that I (and to a certain degree, Chris) have been a non-conformist/very early adopter in our therapeutic choices.  The fact that we've often gone against the grain of current therapeutic advice in favor of what we believe are/were more promising and ethical alternatives has meant that we often haven't had anyone much (locally, at least) in front of us, as guides.

But that just makes it a greater opportunity to rely on God, to put trust in Him ahead of trust in man.  Too often my native cynicism about trusting humans bleeds into not trusting anyone, but that keeps changing too.  I think God's teaching me/us (slowwwllyyyy . . .) that He is trustworthy EVEN with Vasant's RDI program.  The challenge of trust always seems to be in the specifics for me.  It's easy to say yeah, I know God loves Vasant and will take care of him; it's harder in the crush of a typical day to know what I can do to make a positive difference without either burning out or overdoing it.

So anyway, I was thinking about this long process, and I got to comparing it to just normal parenting stuff, Suniti's adjustment to high school, Sanjay going through some pre-teen stuff, and it struck me again that all parents have to face the limits of their power every day.  And that the stuff you want for your kids often isn't going to materialize for 20, 30, even 50 years. 

And then it hit me - duh! - Christians get Eternity to work on/hope for this stuff . . . wow!  What a concept: it doesn't mean I failed if my kids (now whose are they really?) don't learn something I hope they'll learn while I'm alive to see it, or even while they're alive on this Earth.  Maybe God's eternal plan for them involves things that totally mitigate the hardships they'll face all their Earthly lives. . . Not that I shouldn't do whatever I can to help Vasant here and now, but maybe it will be okay even if I can't.

And then the last thing struck me. Maybe it's the lack of a hoped for Eternity that makes so many (non-believing) parents make what seems like such bizarre choices to me.  Of course, maybe I'm the weirdo and they're just doing what seems right, but maybe it's that fear of having to do everything now, in the next 5, 10 or whatever years, in this season of fleeting youth, that makes other parents so frantic about their kids.  Not that I'm not just a big scaredy cat too sometimes, but I know there's a wider horizon if I'd just admit it sometimes.  How scary, and what unbelievable pressure it must be, to try to raise kids in today's world without knowing there's a bigger back-up plan.

1 comment:

cdwalker247 said...

"Daddy's Got a Plan."

Sorry, I couldn't resist it. This seems to have become a Walker family motto lately.

Really cool connection though. It blows my mind every time these sort of God revelations happen no matter how complex or simple they may be.