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I try really hard to have an an attitude of gratitude towards everything in my life. I know how blessed I am because I know what it means to go without. Laundry is, admittedly, a struggle.
I’m thankful we can clothe our family in clothes that fit. I’m thankful we have the means and machines to keep them clean. I do struggle with being thankful for the process of getting those clothes clean, sorted, folded, and put away. Some days it just seems to take up so much time and energy. At the end of very long days, diving into endless laundry is usually the last thing I want to do. Like I said, I working on the posture of my heart towards it.
After school on Wednesday my boys were having a snack. I was moving clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, and Ethan came and stood in the doorway of the laundry room and said, “Mommy, what are you doing?”
I froze dead in my tracks. In his five years of life, this has never happened. Part of having autism for Ethan means he typically has a general disinterest in what is going on around him. He usually notices I’m doing something, but he’s never come up to me and engaged me like this. I said, “Mommy is doing laundry.” He said, “I can do it!”
One item at a time, he put them in the dryer. He smiled so big and was so proud. We put a dryer sheet in and got it started. I said we needed to put clothes in the washer. He said, “Ethan!” That means he wants to do it, and he did!
After all the laundry was situated, I said, “Ethan, we did it! I’m so proud of you!” He threw his hands over his head and jumped up and down and cheered for himself, with his gigantic, precious smile on his sweet face!
I said, “Ethan, you did a chore. We get to put money in your piggy bank.” He said, “Let’s go!” I got a quarter out of my wallet, though I really wanted to give him a million bucks, and we went to his room. He put the quarter in his piggy bank while he smiled his most proud smile. I got to hug him again and tell him how proud I am.
Those moments. Those moments may not seem like they are worth celebrating in your home. In ours, they are lifeline to hope, and they shine a light on the places we can always see. It’s like there’s always something happening inside Ethan’s mind, and when that door opens a little more, we get to see what’s happening.
So much joy comes in these moments. I can’t wait until that door is all the way open. I can’t wait to see who he becomes. I am so thankful that something I didn’t even want to do became an opportunity for my son to connect with me.
It was the best load of laundry I’ll ever do.