The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go. Psalm 121:7-8
“I don’t want to go to school! I.DON’T.WANT.TO.GO.TO.SCHOOL!
Since school began two weeks ago, this has been the wail of our little boy each morning. In the last two weeks we have mulled over and tried to eliminate any possible triggers. No substitute bus driver this morning. No pesky buttons on his pants. He is fed. He has slept pretty good. His class consists of kids and an aide with whom he is familiar. Everything we can control in his environment we have managed to, so what is the deal?
The wails continue as he stands at the bus stop, jaws clenched, arms crossed, grunts and wails on full display for all the other parents to see. To observe as the small child steps on the bus he seems to hate, stomps his feet, and screams at his parents one last time:
What’s the deal? In our effort to control our environment and routine to keep our little boy happy, what have we missed? How does the little boy who can’t wait to pull out his folder and have me read about his day each afternoon, turn into this each morning?
The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. Psalm 41:1,2
“Mommy, Hunter said Tommy (names have been changed to protect the not so innocent) hits him and laughs at him at recess. And, Susie said she thinks he is annoying because he cries all the time.”
What’s the deal?
Well, it’s the one I feared would surface at some point. The deal that says-your son is different. He has special needs. He doesn’t operate in the same way. He can’t tolerate changes in the same way.
The deal that I hoped I’d never have to cash in. The moment when my little boy would be considered an outcast.
The moment when the differences meant to enhance the school’s push for “inclusion,” in fact exclude him.
The moment when his needs and quirks would be considered weird and worthy of eye rolls and taunts from his peers.
The moment when a parent wants to raise a fist, shake a few fingers, and fight-anyone who even dares to mess with their children.
The Lord protects those of child-like faith. Psalm 116:6
Which means that I can put down my drawn fists. Put my pointing fingers away, because He has suited up for this fight.
As much as I want to climb on that bus and ride to school with my little boy. As much as I want to stand beside him on the playground to ensure no one gets past this Mama Bear, I know I can’t protect my little boy every moment of every day.
Instead, I have to let God handle that. I have to allow Him to stand in and protect my little boy from harm when Mama Bear cannot. Remain confident in the promise that Hunter is more precious to Him than two sparrows. Trusting that although I can’t be there for him day after day, week after week, and each and every new year, He will be. Standing in the gap for the mom ready to pounce and point a finger at the Tommys and Susies at any given moment.
None of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you; not a hair of your head will perish. Luke 21:15,18
God has certainly given Hunter exactly what he needs each year to navigate changes, new routines, and yes, even his quirks and differences. Whether it has been the same teacher each year, a bus driver who also happens to be the gym teacher, or the familiarity of a sweet and adoring friend, God ensures that the right people are placed into my son’s life. That they are placed there to protect the very hairs on his curly, brown head. To protect him from the Tommys and Susies. From the eye rolls and taunts.
To stand in the gap of this Mama Bear.
To protect a quirky and different little boy, when she cannot.