As parents we all worry. I would have to guess that parents of kids who struggle socially and emotionally worry on a different level though. We don’t always have time to worry about grades and homework and sports, because we worry about friendships, relationships, and especially the future.
Will my child treat others kindly today?
Will they treat him kindly?
Will he participate in the give and take of conversation?
Don’t even get me started on the future…..
Will he ever have a girlfriend?
Will he be teased?
Will he develop meaningful friendships?
Will he even care to?
It can be a lot to process, especially when troubling things are happening. Things that show that he doesn’t quite understand how friendships work.
And then we get a glimpse.
Jason came home from work on Friday afternoon feeling sick. At dinnertime, he went up to bed and fell asleep. Later, when I went upstairs, I found Jason asleep in our bed but saw something out of place. I turned on the bathroom light to see better and I saw a red, fleece blanket laid over Jason. It neatly covered him.
And the blanket was Matthew’s.
I told Matthew that I saw the blanket and asked if he put it there. He looked scared at first, like he thought he might be in trouble.
I didn’t want Daddy to be cold, he said as he looked away quickly.
I told him how kind he is, and what a good son he is. That it means a lot to think about what other people need.
And I thanked God for the glimpse. Everything is not perfect now. We still have problems, but Matthew instinctively knew to do that.
Sometimes those glimpses are the hope we need to keep slogging through……the manna from heaven that is just enough for this day…..not tomorrow, not forever, but enough to get us through today.
And enough to give us hope for the next day.