I'm kind of selfish when it comes to my kid.
For years, I've struggled to come to terms with what I've "lost" because of his disability. I could go on forever about not being able to fully communicate with him, to tell him how much I love him, to play ball, tell jokes, or help him with homework. At different times I've felt lost, robbed, deprived and angry. But then I consider what I've gained. I've made a whole group of friends I never would have met otherwise. I've been given incredible opportunities to study leadership, influence lawmakers and lend a helping hand to other parents with similar experiences. And most of all, my son was the defining influence in my decision to press closer to God. I am where I am today due in large part to this thing we call autism.
Last night I preached about servanthood from Philippians 1:3-8, and what it is that a church can and should expect from their Pastor. I love to serve others. My joy comes from seeing others succeed, and knowing I played a small part in their success. I want to serve God wholeheartedly and help my church family in their faith walk. So I've come to realize that I need to apply that same servant attitude to my son. It's not about what I can get from him, but what he can get from me.
Tomorrow he has the day off from school. I found myself wondering what I can do to keep him occupied. So I made a mental list of the few things I know he enjoys... breakfast, car rides, Burger King, KMart and playing "Pillow Monster." (Don't ask). I'm slowly learning that my joy will come not from what he returns to me, but from what little I can give to him.
As long as my asthma inhaler is close by during Pillow Monster, I think I'll be okay.