Unlike Marie who quickly made herself at home in my yard, many of us have a hard time “fitting in.” You don’t have to be on the spectrum to experience this.
I am habitually wary of most new surroundings or people until I eventually “settle in.” It doesn’t usually take that long, but it is long enough for those who don’t know me to find me a bit aloof until I compose myself.
Last week was Homecoming at the boys’ high school. Lan has casually mentioned the dances the last two years but this time he was intent on going.
Freshman year took all of our collective energy to survive. Slowly, Lan began to thrive sophomore year. He made great gains, yet for those two years Lan was more of a spectator than a participant.
This year Lan’s participation in marching band has upped his confidence. He is no longer afraid of the upperclassmen since he now one of them. He wants to mingle and socialize more.
Our question for him was, “Are you mature enough to go to the dance?”
He quickly assured us he was.
The hubby and I had to think on it for a bit.
Bullying is no longer a worry, nonetheless, I’m remiss to put my child and his enthusiasm into any situation where he can be taken advantage of or become someone else’s entertainment.
Thankfully, big brother was also going. It was now or never. I’m sure Lan was forced to listen to fifteen minutes of dos and don’ts as my oldest drove them the short ride there.
I was nervous but Lan won’t learn how to interact in various social situations if we never give him the chance.
The older the kids become, the more I realize I can’t keep them in a safe bubble, as tempting as that may be. It would only do them a disservice and keep them from becoming all they can be.
Anxiously waiting, I finally heard the garage door go up and both boys came rushing in. I asked Lan if he was mature while he was there.
He gave me a sly grin and nodded. Then added, “Most of the time. I kinda of got a little crazy at the end.”
The oldest child/third parent quickly chimed in, “probably something to do with the dance circles he instigated.”
Dance circles? Do I even want to know?
Lan behaved himself well enough to satisfy big brother.
And I was very happy for him.
Lan has progressed beyond looking in from the outside to becoming an active participant in high school. He has overcome his fears and gained confidence in what he can do.
This year Lan feels like he belongs.
Isn’t that what most of us want? To belong somewhere?
Anyplace that is safe, familiar and you can take pride in evokes feelings of home.
It may not happen for us as quickly as it did for Marie, but it can happen.
When we allow faith to fill us instead of fear, we can be “home” no matter where we are.
The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just. Proverbs 3:33 NKJV