Our family goes to church on Sundays, almost every Sunday. It is part of the fabric of who we are! We belong to a family of believers and this is part of what we are honored to be able to do being part of this family. We have gone to church on Sunday ALL of our kiddos lives!
Now kids in general can make this tradition a bit of a challenge. Throw a RAD kiddo (or 3) in the mix and up the ante on the challenge. The last 2 weeks #5 has pushed all of our buttons. He is hungry, he has a headache, he is hot/cold/tired etc, etc! And half of the service, he stands in the aisle to be sure he is the center of attention! Most of the people have known him and loved him for all of his 12 years, so we don’t get many of the “look down their noses” looks. Newcomers can be a bit dicey.
Today, he was in rare form. Last week, he did a number of his dad. I had the great fortune of being at our eldest’s college for Mom’s weekend – finding the joy in one who isn’t pushing my love away! Dad not so lucky! Dad is stellar at being a RAD dad, but this one pulled out all the stops: coupled with another kiddo who did not want to be there either but home on his trusty computer, and this was a recipe for trouble. Suffice it to say, enough was enough and he was removed to sit in the car for the service. You know where this is going, right?
So now Mom is up to bat and he was going to throw his best stuff to get him out of church. Start first, by refusing to come sit down and standing in the aisle. Not a problem. I went to sit down – what? Not the center of my world?! Okay move the target, he thought, and came and sat, laid, thrashed and moaned next to me and computer kiddo from last week who pulled it together! Disrupted the kindergartners next to us and laid on the floor. He wanted to??? Go outside for some fresh air! Uh huh right! My husband, myself and computer kiddo had to blockade the escape route with our feet so he couldn’t move. He even went so far as to yell while singing, not enough for others to hear, just me of course. Given options – sit on my lap to soothe the pounding “headache” or sit in his chair next to me. The newcomer lady behind us offered mint gum to me (thankfully) for his headache. We even had to hang on to his shirt to keep him close. HE WAS STUCK in his brain. His pupils were as big as his irises – telltale that he is in his fight/flight part of his brain! After seeing every door closed but looking to his mom for his needs, he snuggled up to me! In a bit, his eyeballs looked normal and the rest of the service was uneventful.
This was a turning point for him, not in control and came to me for comfort (he did have a bit of a headache) and for me, as I was able to keep my loving eyes and not operate from frustration. Trust me these are both big milestones!
As a side note, you may be wondering why he can’t go to the youth Sunday school during this time, something more geared for his age. Well it is because he burnt those bridges by not doing what he was supposed to because he needs to be in charge. And it will take a bit longer to get the authorities in that class up to speed on handling a Reactive Attachment Disorder kiddo. At this point, he can go back when he can show he can follow parental authority. Then we will know he is ready to try to follow Sunday School authority!