I don’t even care that today’s blog picture gives everyone a front row view of my double chin and big ol nostrils… Check out who’s sleeping in his momma’s arms! That’s right, it’s Ezra!
This past Monday, time stood still for one hour and fifteen minutes. For one hour and fifteen minutes, I barely breathed for fear of waking my baby and losing this precious moment that we had not shared in such a very long time. For one hour and fifteen minutes, I held my sleeping boy in my arms and prayed over him as I felt his little body slowly breathe in and out. He was relaxed, he had such a peaceful look on his face, he was comfortable, and he was in my arms. I cannot recall the last time my sweet boy fell asleep in my arms- it has been several years. Until this moment, I had not realized how hungry I was for this special kind of momma and baby connection with my little man.
Most children with Autism do not like to be touched and most do not like to snuggle. We are very blessed by the fact that our Ezra is a very affectionate little boy. Despite his Autism and Sensory Disorder, Ezra will give kisses and hugs to those he is very close to. Ezra likes to be tickled and he loves to share the rocking chair at home with his big sister. However, Ezra’s affections are always on his terms. If he is struggling on a particular day, he may or may not even acknowledge me let alone give me loves. The key is to always make yourself available and to wait patiently for him to come to you. This can be very hard as a parent. Often times my attempts to snuggle are met with him spitting in my face, screaming, ignoring, or pushing away. There is nothing more heartbreaking than feeling your child’s little hands pushing you away from them when you want so badly to be able to offer comfort and love.
So, you learn to wait. You learn to wait and when your child comes to you, everything else gets put on hold. Suddenly, the task at hand is trivial in the light of whatever breakthrough occurred for your child to pursue you. You soak it up. You store this precious moment in your memory and hold on to it tightly, because you don’t know how long it might be until a moment like this will happen again.
That’s how I felt this past Monday. If you have read my blog post Talk About Us Behind Our Backs, then you know that Monday is the hardest day out of our week. Every Monday afternoon Ezra and I wait while Grace is at dance. This past Monday, as we pulled up to the dance studio, I could tell that sitting in a waiting room for any length of time was not going to be successful. Ezra was tired and he was letting me know about it. So, we walked Grace in to dance and went back to the car. I set Ezra in my lap, turned on some light music, and said a prayer because I just knew that this was going to be a rough hour and fifteen minutes. As the music played, my sweet boy grew calm and still as he laid his head against my chest. Within a matter of minutes, he was snuggled into me and was in a deep sleep.
I’m not going to lie, I cried. I sat there in amazement as I thanked the Lord over and over for such a sweet moment. I had had a long day. I was weary. It was as if the Lord knew exactly what I needed. I was able to kiss the top of Ezra’s sweet little head and hold him tight for one hour and fifteen minutes! What a special moment! What a blessing! The Lord knows the deepest desires of our hearts. I am so thankful.
…and yes, I just HAD to capture the moment by taking a picture with my phone. If you are wondering why I did not smile for such a special picture, it is because I was literally petrified to move too much for fear of waking Ezra. I just knew he would sense me flexing my facial muscles and it would all be over. Therefore, you get the double-chin-and-up-the-nose view …super. Oh, but isn't he a sweetheart! Thank you Lord, for the gift of one hour and fifteen minutes!
Never take for granted your child's hugs and kisses. Never take for granted hearing their little voice calling "Momma Momma" over and over again. Sometimes we become numb to these things...maybe even agitated at times. Oh friends, cherish these moments! They are treasures we are not always guaranteed. They are precious gifts!