I have had a $50 Build a Bear gift card burning a hole in my pocket..for two years. (It's a big hole.) I decided if we were going to go before Christmas, that today was the day because next week the kids would be out of school. So we went. It was pretty busy but it was still before noon. Andrew had no problems choosing his bear and a sound to go with it. While standing in line, there was a woman who came up behind us and said, "is that a cochlear implant?" My 'trained' hear could tell she was probably deaf. Indeed she was and mentioned that next week in Toronto she will be going for an evaluation for a cochlear implant. It has been rescheduled three times. (Canadian socialized medicine..but let's not go there.) She asked Andrew a question, he answered, she thought that was pretty cool especially in a noisy environment. When she was twelve she became deaf which is why she had very good speech. It was a nice exchange. She decided she didn't want to stay and get a bear so she gave us her coupons... $15 worth! .. and left. A little whisper from God... a divine appointment.
The people at Build-a-Bear were great. I haven't always heard great things so I made sure to tell them how much I appreciated their patience. They didn't rush us even one little bit even though there was a line. Mr. Epic can be seen above!
But life is still not all sunshine and roses. Next, we went to lego. Again the staff was great. I have learned to just let Andrew go and ask the questions of the staff where we go. And they were very nice. But Andrew wanted a SPECIFIC top for his mini-fig. He started what could have been a giant meltdown. (You know..when your kid starts to scream and you are thinking, all the eyes are on me and I wonder how we will get out of here?? I know some of you know what I'm talking about.) I don't know if God dropped the idea in my head but I said, "lets build 3 of the same! One each for Joe and Jacob." That was a great idea- until we couldn't find all the same face. Finally we did, we left, found J&J who were in the mall.
On the way out we passed the Santa area. He didn't see Santa..but a lady asked if we wanted to write Santa a letter. Andrew did and wrote that he wants the movie 2012 for Christmas. He has had this in his brain for MONTHS. On the way home I mentioned that he wasn't going to get anything I didn't approve and he started crying that he had, 'made a terrible choice in his letter.' We don't perpetuate the Santa thing. We told him last year when he asked the real deal and he keep asking. Finally when we got home I said, "if Santa is real he will know exactly what to get you." He was afraid he'd be bypassed because he'd written the letter stating 2012. I have more to update this on another post because since this time we have basically told him the truth... had another emotional roller coaster.
Back to Build-A-Bear. Sometimes it is just...strange..bittersweet... to be having such JOY with a 10 year old building a stuffed animal. Sometimes it is just hard to be completely JOY filled. I have said to people, "I get to see God in slow motion with Andrew." But sometimes.... although I am so thankful for the progress... it just isn't that exciting.
I already wrote about autism and snowflakes and how the cutting of them should have been fun. We ended up making paper chains last week. It was fun so I bought a 'kit' of various paper patterns to make more. It ended up in a GIANT meltdown this morning. Something that should have been FUN ended up with major angst.
And of course there is the 'fun letdown' factor after EVERYTHING we do. I get that it is a real emotion...after you finish something you feel letdown. But again, this is something that is just on a whole new level for us rather than most people.
PS: Two days later as I am finishing this post it is easier to celebrate the victory and progress than when we were right in the thick of it. I am so thankful that Jesus came to this earth as a baby...as a human being. He knows how I feel because he has felt it too... every last shred of emotion. He 'gets' me. He doesn't want me to just 'be happy.' He wants me to know him.. and feel His JOY!