Getting out of the Boat
Years ago I read a book by John Ortberg titled, "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat". It was inspiring, insightful and motivating...at the time. I no longer aspire to walk on water, and would now settle for being able to tread water long enough to be thrown a lifeline.
Before my son was born, the plan for his rearing was developed. We discussed issues relating to education, discipline, balance, spirituality, diet and so on. Although completely aware that there is no such thing as the perfect parent, I was determined to get it mostly right. My wife and I were in synch and our united front would be wrapped in love and fun.
After his diagnosis, we pushed on just as determinedly. In addition to the physical and occupational therapy, we massaged his joints, hung a calming tent swing in his room, tucked him in with the heavy blankets, got him into the recommended swimming lessons, significantly restricted his diet and tried many other interventions to address sensory, social, motor skill and behavior issues. Although offered as an option, we chose not to use drugs. I wanted to believe we could manage without them. I didn't want to feel like I was giving up, and believed if we had to resort to "the drug option", it meant I had failed. The arrival of the twins presented new challenges, primarily in the area of time management.
I work full time, I'm going to school part time and very rarely do I miss bath time, story time or bed time. Still, no one is getting the attention they require or deserve. The escalations grew in number and intensity, his attention span shrunk, and he was becoming aware that other kids were not only avoiding him, but outwardly rejecting him. My heart breaks for him every day.
I've been treading water for a while now. I've gone under a few times and have had to fight the urge to simply succumb; to surrender. It's only been recently that I've become aware that I'm not swimming alone. My son rests on my shoulders and he can't swim. We reached for a lifeline this week. He started taking medication yesterday. We'll see how it goes.