#3's ADHD and sensory issues combined this past week in a spectacular meltdown. The noise and commotion of 6 siblings, an out of town house guest, and scores of shrieking friends in the playroom triggered a reaction we haven't seen in some time. He lashed out at the people he loves, calling them nasty names and locking himself away in his bedroom.
I ached for him.
As he curled up next to me on my bed later, he said that the noise and commotion combined into a fog of confusion and he just needed to make it stop. Nothing he did was working until he started hurling insults, and then the noise lessened as the children around him froze into stunned silence. He just needed to escape and didn't see a way out of the chaos.
It is easy to forget the burdens he carries. He spends so much of his life looking and acting normal. I often slip into the routine of being his mother and forget the cross that he carries. I lose sight of how hard it is to be him in a world that is loud and confusing and often moves too quickly for him to process.
The workings of his mind are the cross he has been blessed with. They bring him to create fantastic inventions, but also to an easy overload. God, in His wisdom, did not put him on this road alone. He put his father and me there with him. We are meant to be his Simon of Cyrene.
It's our role as the parents of a child with special needs. It is our vocation to help him shoulder his burden, to help him carry that cross, and to walk on to where God intends for him to be.
In the tearful meltdown last week, I cried with my son and wondered how God could have so burdened this beloved child of mine. How could he have made life so hard for him? He's so tired of this already and he's only 11 years old. Then I realized that it was because we, his Simon, were slacking on the job. We have to be more mindful of his burdens. We have to walk more purposefully at his side, put our arms around his shoulders, and lighten his load. It's almost too much for one small boy to carry some days, but for the three of us together? It becomes a much easier journey.