The Treasure of Friendship

Sketch ran away. Again.

It is really getting frustrating to have to constantly think about where he is, what he's doing.

Is he still doing what he was doing just a minute ago?  How about now?

It's a source of constant anxiety leading to panic when he's out of sight.

So many times he is right where he should be, we just can't see him.  But, the anxiety continues to rise until his body is visible again.

Just yesterday this happened. He went exploring in the small strip of woods along the side of our yard. It was about to rain, and I'd seen him go back there so I wasn't too worried. Not worried, that is, until I lifted PolkaDot to my hip and walked across the yard with aching back, wrists, feet and knees (due to RA) to tell him to come inside only to find that I couldn't find him at all. He'd vanished!  I knew I couldn't search far, especially while carrying my 1 year old. Then I heard him scripting (I thanked God for his scripting this time!) and knew he was nearby.

But tonight when I wasn't worried, is when I should have been worried.  That's how it works, you know.

Sketch was outside snacking on Pirate Booty.  I was inside with my new best friend, the Kitchen Aid, watching it tirelessly work kneading dough for pizza tonight. Mr. Incredible was with the other 3 kids.  Next thing I know there is a house shaking "KNOCK - KNOCK - KNOCK" on the door, scared me right out of my rolling pin!

It was our neighbor, "Is this one yours?" he asks, as Sketch happily trots and scripts, signing to himself in the back yard.

"Yes it is.  Where did you find him?"

"Oh, down at my house.  I thought he was yours."

"Did he give you a hard time coming back here?" I cringe, sure he fought him the entire way...like last year.

"No, he just ran to each house along the way, knocked on their doors." He said with a smile.

Yes, I am very blessed with friendly neighbors who find my children far more often than I know they need to be found. It is an interesting way to meet ones neighbors, I might add.

Tonight when I posted on my Facebook wall that Sketch ran away again, several friends joined in the discussion because they either have the same problem with their child with autism, or they have ideas on how to help keep the children from running away.

I have made so many friends because of autism, that I never would have known otherwise. Friends literally across the world!  Some of these friends are among my closest friends, even though we have never physically met (yet!).

That is a true, true Treasure:  Friendship.

Friends who really do understand what it's like to raise kids who don't fit the mold.

Who have kids who are so smart there is no child proofing that can contain them.

Friends who struggle with children who go three days straight without sleep.

Friends who know what it's like to have children prone to outrageous meltdowns due to sensory processing disorders that travel along with autism.

Friends who know what it's like to have a child missing, not knowing if they are alive or if they drowned in the pond down the street. Not knowing if they were hit by that car coming over the hill ask they pranced up it oblivious to the dangers.

Some things we deal with in the autism world are so opposite from what "normal" parenting requires, but we are not alone.  God has given us each other.  He has made us find each other even when we reside on opposite sides of the globe.

As strange as some of the things that we deal with are, we are not ever alone in dealing with it.  "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes  1:9

When Time Stands Still

You know it's either really good, or really bad when time stands still.

I lost track of time, it seemed unchanging because my boy was missing.

This time, our neighbor saw Sketch (age 7, autism) walking down toward the farm at the end of our street.

Since I can't run after him anymore (thanks to RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), I called down to Mr. Incredible who was working in his office in our basement.  He and Mr. Neighbor went in search of Sketch.

I wait, holding PolkaDot looking out the window.

Princess Buttercup comes up to me and teasingly kicks me with her mismatched neon socks.  I tell her what is going on.

"Can I go look for him too?"

I think about it... It's 5:00, the farm trucks zoom down the road this time of day.  "I don't know, you may get hurt with how fast the trucks fly down our street!"

"I"ll walk on the side of the street and be careful, Please?"

I think about all the times our In-Home Supports person used to take the kids on walks in the woods down there, and how Princess Buttercup really could be helpful in finding him...I think about how when I was 9 years old, I walked around the neighborhood all the time... So, I agree.

Princess Buttercup walks cautiously down the street.  I see someone walking back up the street toward our house, carrying  something.  I can't see well because of the trees but I think for a minute it is Mr. Incredible carrying Sketch.

It wasn't.

Then I think it was Mr. Neighbor and his bike, but it wasn't.

Then I see.

It is the teenage Neighbor-Boy with his  2 small dogs.  The search party no where in sight.

This is where panic begins to set in.

I walk out with PolkaDot to the end of the driveway to watch.

The Friendly Neighbor-Boy says, "Hi".  Apparently his new dog ran away and wouldn't come back when he called for him.

I told him we have the same problem here with one of our kids and I look down the street where I hope to see them coming home safely.

And, I do!

Dash comes out at this point and says he's starving.  We talk a bit with Mr. Neighbor and thank him profusely!

Dash says he's "Sooooo Hungry!"

So we go inside.

It's 5:10.

I couldn't believe only 10 minutes had passed.

It seemed like time was moving so fast as it ticked away without my boy. At the same time, it seemed like it was going equally slow and I just wanted him back quickly and safely.

It seemed like time stood still.

Thinking like someone with ASD, it makes perfect sense.  xFast + xSlow= Still.

Time didn't matter. It had no purpose...

The track team could wait.  Dinner could wait.

This time, time standing still was really bad but ended good.

When I think about the equation xFast + xSlow = still, and how time can go fast and slow all at the same time I think about the verse in Psalms 46:10

"Be still and know that I am God."

Sometimes it seems like forever that we wait to hear from God.  When he  reveals himself, it seems like so much happens so fast.  How does God change a personal paradigm in one breath?  Change the way we think with a quick whisper to our hearts?  How does he instantly heal and set us on a different path in life?

It is perplexingly beautiful. It causes one to be awestruck.

It makes me want to just be still.