I have never liked the game of hide-and-seek. I’m not very good and it and I don’t like hiding in dark or dirty places. And the second I hide I always need to pee. Anyone relate?
However I have been hiding a bit in my world here.
I just realized it this week, but since Keller has been about 12 months old, he started to exhibit habits and characteristics that were… well… embarrassing. He would cry whenever we went to a new place. He would frequently throw tantrums. He would HATE whenever we would meet anyone new. He was all around a little grumpy. So I started staying home with him more. We called it ‘grumpy Keller’ or ‘introverted Keller’ but I began to manage his world and MY world so that we wouldn’t have his meltdowns.
Inadvertadly, in my hiding, I started hiding from my friends and community. While Kieren as a baby loved visiting new people and staying at friends homes in Ocean View, Keller just couldn’t do it. Not only did it make Keller upset to visit new places but it made me incredibly tense. So we started hiding. Friends and Ocean View neighbors would ask why they hadn’t seen Keller and I would just say he slept a lot or was home or…. I don’t know what I said. But I was hiding.
Then last week Keller was diagnosed with autism. Suddenly it made sense why he was always ‘grumpy’ when we visited new places. I now understand why he seems to HATE new people and tantrum at any transition. He is isn’t being naughty; he is autistic, and the kinds of things that were always normal for Kieren are hostile and scary to Keller.
Yesterday I got a call from one of my dear Ocean View friends who lives on our street. Kieren spent countless hours at her home as she has grew up. In fact, this family were some of our first true Ocean View friends. She asked how we were doing and said she heard about Keller and his diagnosis. She wanted to hear about it. And then she said… no she insisted that they LOVE Keller and that he must come to her house more often. She described in length that he loves it there and how he acts and how comfortable he is, even if he cries for a minute when I leave. This dear friend was reaching out and saying she wants to be a part of Keller’s life and she wants to see him grow and flourish even with autism.
I realized in that moment that I have been hiding.
I hide because I don’t want to overwhelm Keller, but I also hide because it’s embarrassing to be the mother of a child who has huge and uncontrollable meltdowns. But now I have no excuses. It’s actually a NEED of Keller to learn how to interact, how to be social, how to make friends and be comfortable with it. We are going to have to TEACH him how to do these things and I can’t do it alone. This also means that I might need to just be embarrassed at times. I might need to ask for help. I might need to burden other people. I might need to ask for help.
No. Not ‘might’ need to ask for help… I ‘DO’ need to ask for help.
We live in a community of broken and vulnerable people and I love to serve and walk alongside them. Evidently I don’t like to be the broken one. It’s easier to hide and cover it all up but, I can’t hide anymore.
As I come out of hiding I think of my God, who never hides from me. God is always wanting to be found by us, and always ready to help and heal. Keller needs therapies but my broken heart needs a lot of healing. And my God is already here.
Time to stop hiding.
“You will seek me and FIND me when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13