Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Tears of the Forest

Sitting in a coffee shop trying to do school with Lochlan... the agitation. Fists clenched. Deep voiced, guttural outbursts, mostly yelling specific phrases like movie titles. Eye rolling. Licking the chair. Throwing his napkin. Yelling again. Knocking over the chair next to him. Everyone is staring at us. I wither. I need to get over it. I tell myself I don't care what people think or say, or how they judge me. But, every glance, every sigh, every look of irritation, and a tiny part inside of me crumbles. I am operating on less than 3 hours of sleep from last night, and so is he; it sets our rotating world on a tilt. 

We're at the coffee shop waiting on a doctor's appointment. It's a new avenue that we're pursuing, a tiny hope for changes, even if they're small ones. I couldn't sleep last night. I prayed, cried, rolled onto a different side in bed, listened to my book, prayed some more... my brain couldn't turn off, even in the moments when Lochlan was quiet. The anticipation. Trying to hold the hope at bay. Wanting to see improvement more than almost anything in the world. 

This past week has been a tough one with Lochlan. He hasn't wanted to focus in school, and even when he tried to watch a movie, he could only concentrate for about 60 seconds before wanting to turn it off, or start a different movie. There have been a lot of midnight outbursts, mostly yelling out a movie title repeatedly, or screaming at the highest pitch attainable. We detoxed him from all electronic use except for the video he needs in school and took him outdoors as much as possible. The sledding seemed to help the most. He loves to sled and now awakes each morning and immediately puts on his snow gear. On several days we've just started the day on the sledding hills.  

Allie, Lochlan's speech therapist has worked with him for so many years now. She started with him when he was just grunting or screaming at us, if he communicated at all. She has ridden through all the fixations with us, documenting improvements and restructuring/tailoring his path forward based on the direction he is taking, mentally. His progress has been remarkable. Allie has accepted Lochlan completely, and he knows that he is safe with her. It has been so interesting to see how he responds when he thinks he is misunderstood or disrespected; he rages and cries, displaying nothing short of a broken heart. He knows that Allie loves him. She's had to work with him when he's completely checked out, making almost no eye contact and being almost completely unwilling to comply. And she's worked with him on days when he's fully engaged and surprising us with what he knows and comprehends. I'm incredibly thankful for her perseverance with Lochlan, her dedication to his improvement, her perspective and how it has encouraged me (for years now) to press on and not lose hope. 

His teacher, Brooklyn, is such a gift. She patiently sifts through his antics each week and draws out the things he knows and guides him into learning the things he needs to. She waits upon his correct responses, laughs at his humor (which is present, but hard to identify sometimes), repeats the phrases that he insists that she repeat before he will move on in the process of learning. She has worked with him for over 1.5 years now and she knows WHO he is. It's so special. 

So, I know that I am richly blessed, in and through the challenges and obstacles of being Lochlan's mom. I find myself drawn into the forests and up my hill to be renewed, to be reminded that my world is, well, tiny, in the grand scheme of it all. As I reached my tree, I knelt and cried, frustrations pouring down. I stood up and the phrase, "they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary... " was in my mind. I said it out loud, and looked down to where my truck was parked. Below me was a bald eagle circling the little valley I love so much. I watched it for 5 minutes and felt the change in my heart, again, as I was reminded that there is so much that is good and beautiful. I leave my tears in the forest, time and again, and I am given wings as an eagle when I think crawling may be the best I can do. 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Karen Winget said...

When one crawls, there’s less of a fall. Experiences on ice ;)

Anonymous said...

I wish with my whole heart we lived closer. But we pray. Everytime you post. With every victory and heartbreak we pray. I know you are all the way exhausted. We pray for Lochlan’s growth and development and for his siblings. And I pray so often that you will know you are enough and that you remember how His strength is made perfect in weakness. And finally that Lochlan will know, through his precious loving parents that he has a Heavenly Father who has a purpose and a plan for his life. Please know that you are not alone. And you are prayed over.

Anonymous said...

I couldn’t make it out my name. It’s Tami Burt.