Recently, I was searching my 17-year-old son’s backpack because he couldn’t locate some papers he needed to turn in. Those papers are still MIA but what did I find? A cell phone he “lost” a couple weeks ago that we had all been searching for.
WHAT????? And this is my typical kid.
Me holding up the phone: “Brandon, look what was just sitting at the bottom of your backpack.”
Brandon: “WHAT? I looked everywhere for that thing.”
Me: “Define look. Did you dump everything out of your backpack or just paw around in there?”
Brandon: “Um….. just pawed around.”
Me with my voice raised high and screechy: “WHEN SOMETHING IS MISSING YOU HAVE TO DUMP EVERYTHING OUT. You’re driving me crazy!!”
Brandon is extremely smart but CANNOT keep track of his stuff to save either my life or my sanity. He may kind of….sort of….maybe take after me with the misplacing glasses, phones, car keys; you name it. I have learned over the years to hang my keys in the same spot so I don’t spend half my life searching for them but my oldest child has yet to acquire this skill. Therefore, I now spend half my life hunting for his belongings.
And I’m typically very impatient and grumpy with him about it. This got me thinking…….how can I be so patient (not always, but much of the time) with my 12-year-old special needs guy yet often blow a gasket with my typical son (who doesn’t appreciate being called typical by the way). Just because he doesn’t have an in-your-face disability, he has flaws, sins, and struggles like the rest of us. Like me.
Last time I checked 1 Corinthians 13:4 doesn’t say “Love is patient and kind only if the other person bothering you has a disability.” So what can I do to be more patient with the typical, able-bodied population, specifically those who live in my household?
- I can remember how VERY patient the Lord is with me for my repeated sins and mistakes. There isn’t a numeric limit involved in 1 John 1:9 and I am SO thankful for that.
- I can stop using my tiredness caregiving my son with special needs as an excuse for bad behavior.
- I can listen to "soaking music." My friend, Laura, turned me on to this type of music and it helps so much both in my worship times and in general to calm me. Gary Ellis’ “Resting” is my favorite and you can find it on YouTube.