Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gospel - Autism Style

Bubba has added a new "trick" to his repertoire and this one has laid bare the raw anger in my heart. I've been seeing glimpses over the past couple weeks but today - full frontal anger. It was awful.

The new trick is to unhook his seat belt and prance around the van. He lays on the floor. He sits next to Sissy. He comes to sit in the front seat. In his favor, he only does it when the car comes to a stop. The problem is that we are stopped at a red light, not in a parking spot.

Today I saw him reaching for his buckle and I started with a "Don't you dare" and then blew straight to an "I'm going to pop your bottom". Then I just start rambling to him about how he has made a choice to disobey mommy and there are consequences. I tell him that his decision to disobey could potentially hurt, not only him, but me as well (I felt sure the guy behind us was calling the police on his cell phone.) It all ended with me grabbing him by the britches, lifting him up and laying him down on the floor. I eventually let him sit up and as he sweetly held my hand I heard him say, "I need to sit sit criss-cross applesauce."

My heart began to ache. I don't know where the line is between what he gets and what he doesn't. I do know that he HAS to learn to obey. . . for his own good and safety. . . argh.

When we got home I told him to go straight to his room and wait for me. I got the girls busy with something else, took the rod, and shut Bubba's door. He came over and sat in my lap. I asked him if he knew why we were faced with these consequences (Yes, mom, I said exactly that. They were the words I used in the car and I wanted him to make the connection.) and he answered, "I choose to sit by Li'l."

"Yes, you did," I responded, "and that was a choice to disobey. That's sin, Bubba. You chose to sin. What do we know about sin?" Pause. He took his thumb out of his mouth and said, "Jesus died on the cross." "Yes, son. Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sin." Bubs broke in and said, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right!" Thumb back into mouth.

I sat quietly for a moment and just looked at that precious little boy. I wondered about what goes on in that head of his. I affirmed his remembrance of scripture and reminded him that he chose to disobey his parent and, in turn, God. I told him that Jesus had died to pay the ultimate penalty for his sin, but there were still consequences for Bubba's actions. Now that my heart was a bit more tender and my anger had subsided, I was more ready for giving consequences and I told Bubs that there would be no spanking but I was going to put his letters in their bag and put them away until tomorrow. (MUCH more effective than spanks, I tell you!) He hugged me and said he was sorry and that he forgave me (which meant he was asking me to forgive him). I forgave him quickly and easily at that point and got some snuggles before going to fix dinner and finish the evening.
I loved the take on Truth. God died on the cross to pay for our sin. We are called to live in obedience to the Law. We'll screw up and sin and that's why God died on the cross to pay for our sin. His death frees us from hell but doesn't free us from "obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." It's cyclical. . . on and on . . .
The Gospel - Autism Style


Catherine said...

Wow Becky. Disobedience is hard enough without autism thrown in.
You keep on, woman. You are doing such a good job. He will probably know the gospel - in action- better than a great majority of Christians by the time he's grown, and that's a good thing, right?
Thank you for sharing this post, Becky.

Julia said...

I laughed, cried and had an awww moment with that one! Can not wait to hang out with the Christians on Sunday.

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie and Clip said...

For those of us that also go through this sort of discipline conversation several times a is just good and encouraging to hear someone else's play-by-play and remember that loving discipline is happening in many other homes and that it really is worth it. It can be so exhausting...but so worth it.
What a helpful and loving explanation you give to Bubba while doing so! Thanks for the encouragement!