It happened in my own backyard.  I knew the time would come, only I had hoped not so soon.  The old green sand pail shattered against the pine tree where my boy played contentedly in his own little world.   He crouched at the base of the tree trying to fit the broken pieces of that pail back together when a few other objects flew past his head.  My boy was oblivious to what was going-on.  I was not.  I had been watching the play from our kitchen window, trying to figure-out whether or not I needed to step-outside.  It started-out as rough-housing and teasing.  The kind to which many neighborhood boys are accustomed.  A typical child may have engaged in this type of banter or just told them to stop.  Not my boy, though.  He simply concentrated intently on putting that plastic pail back together.

While my boy didn’t seem to be phased, I felt the pain of my own heart breaking.  Just like that brittle green pail.  My boy didn’t understand that he was being bullied.  And, even if he did, he didn’t know how to stand-up for himself.  He is not like typical boys his age.  He has autism.  I have known this for over 5 years, but that day, I grieved.  Again.  I marched down those stairs and stood in the middle of the battle going-on in my own backyard.  The battle where my boy was being used as a target.  After expressing my hurt and disappointment over what I witnessed, I made my way back into the house and  shut the door behind me.  My boy, a bit shaken mainly from witnessing my own hurt, knelt on the floor drawing.   I sat-down next to him, pulled him onto my lap and I cried.  I cried because my boy has autism.  I cried because he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.  I cried because I love his beautiful spirit.  I cried for a good part of that afternoon. The grieving comes in waves and that particular moment engulfed me.

We came to an understanding, that evening, with those involved.  Apologies were made all around and learning was had.  I tucked my boy into his bed that night, giving thanks for this blessing.  Early the next morning, my boy crawled into bed next to me.  With tears in his eyes, he whispered to me. “I need to tell you about a dream that I had, Mommy.  I dreamed that you and I were holding hands and we were flying.  Not up to Heaven.  We were just flying together.  It was so beautiful, I didn’t want it to end!”

I can’t help but think that God carried our hurting spirits in my boy’s dreams that night.  And, if I can help my boy fly, it is all worth the pain that accompanies our journey together.

“…They will soar on wings like eagles…”  – Isaiah 41:  31

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