So my cousin Kendra just poked me last night (via family email) and reminded me that I haven't posted anything here in a while. Now, I must confess, I have been busy following and praying for the brain surgery of our church music director, for Darlene and her son Mark, and tending to some very difficult and life-changing events in my own immediate little family. So I confess my distraction and apologize to those few friends and family who check this site regularly.
But it's exactly this stress in my own little family that I should have been writing about. Without going into great detail here, suffice it to say that things have been rocky in our household since just after the new year. And when the house is rockin', The Boy's tics come a'knockin'.
I have been asking for prayer for my family - specifically for God's protection over the boys as none of this has anything to do with them. So having said that things are rocky and that we've been covering the boys in prayer, let me tell you how things have looked.
The boys have had to indirectly experience some tension, tears, and aruing. At one point, they were in bed and I assumed very deep asleep. I was so incredibly upset that there was no holding it in any further. I was in my room crying hard into my pillow. And I mean HARD. I knew the sound was going beyond my not-so-sound-proof pillow but didn't know how much. After I had been at it for a good 15 minutes, my door suddenly opened. I looked up expecting to see the disapproving look of my husband. In stead, I was greeted with a white-faced panicked The Boy. He's seen me cry when a beloved cat died. He's seen me cry over movies. He has never seen me crying with the despair that was hitting me at that point. And he was scared. It was horrible. And I was so upset I couldn't even stop. I was able to reign it in a bit but still had to try to explain things to him between gulping sobs. Yah. That'll do wonders for a kid - let alone a kid with TS that has anxiety issues. I got up and helped him back to bed. We prayed - for me & daddy, for our family, for The Boy to sleep.
Here's where I can show you what God's answers to my prayers of protection look like. The next day, I expected to be drilled with questions. I expected tics to be more pronounced. I didn't really know what to expect. The Boy and I talked very briefly - I reiterated that last night was not normal and daddy and I were committed to working on fixing things and it had nothing to do with Lil Bro or him. He accepted that. I have asked him to just pray that God make our family stronger. I haven't seen any tics arise that weren't already there. I haven't seen any tics increase. I mean, not timed with the beginning of all of this.
To me, that's God answering some very strong prayer.
So to update you on The Boy...his tics currently include this little...man, I never know how to describe these things. Like, if you've ever pretended to be a whining dog, you make a little close-mouthed mmm-mmm-mmm sound, you know? Well, when he's tired or distracted, he often just makes one of those every few seconds. It's not loud so I doubt most people even hear it. It's much more pronounced when he's tired. He is still making this little sound like if you make a over-pronounced P sound - like if you were going to imitate the sound a horse makes when they whinny. But it's very quick, not like a full horse whinny. This sound comes out mid sentence, after ever few words. Actually, this tic has been lessening lately.
His Spidey-hands thing started again for a while. I still see it here and there but not as severe or compulsory as when he first had it back in May 2006.
His anxiety is still there. It manifests a lot in his worrying about time or schedules. He is hyper aware of what time things should start and end. If there is no schedule, he's usually ok but if there is something new, he usually wants to know any parameters as soon as possible so he can get his grip on how it affects him - if that makes sense. When we get ready for the school bus in the morming, there are often conversations around what will we do if we miss the bus? What if the bus comes early? How will we know if the bus already came? And this often amazes and frustrates me because we stick to a very tight schedule in the morning and are always on time and have never missed the bus.
His lack of boundaries (social & personal) are becoming more of a problem as he gets older. When you're four and you run up to a stranger, get right in their face and start grilling them with questions, well, that's just cute. When you're six and do the same thing, people act uncomfortable. He has trouble knowing when to stop with being goofy. I take full responsibility for that trait and blame my birth-father for passing it along. HA! Yes, that can just be being six. But I also know The Boy, me and my birth-father and how we all had trouble with this. Most first graders are starting to recognize social limits and are starting to read body language & facial expressions better. The Boy is oblivious to any of that. If he got one laugh, he's sure he can get 274 more with the same joke or pratfall. I'm 41 and still wrestle with that one. But it goes along with his inability to recognize boundaries.
We haven't started any of the behavioral therapy yet. I had thought we might not need to start. I'm still wrestling with, do we let him be himself and just learn as he goes (like most of us do) or do we start getting him therapy to recognize boundaries and possibly squash a normal and beautiful part of his spirit? It's a tough call. So far, his lack of boundaries isn't causing any real problems - no more so than other kids his age who are still learning social graces. So I'm kind of inclined to leave things as they are.
As for his physical tics, we ask God to give The Boy the ability to control his own body. And I really feel God is honoring this. Only time will tell. But I'm still praying and believing big.
I know there are more tics that are happening right now but I can't, for the life of me, think of what they are. So obviously, they're not that awful if I can't remember them.