I know some of you are like yeah, whatever, what's the big deal? But if you have a sensory kiddo and there is something they never ever ever do and then they do it, wow. Just wow. That's how much Ben likes drama. He put on jeans. AND changed into a polo shirt. What?!? Dude. This is serious. The kid never in a million years ever wants to wear jeans. Ever. He'd rather be raked naked over hot coals. He was so proud, bouncing down the stairs to show the whole family how he was wearing jeans. Like Jonah, he said. Jonah wears jeans but Ben ONLY wears sweat pants. Incredible. We have witnessed a miracle this evening.
I'm not sure I've ever been more proud of him. He said last week before the first class, "Mom. You're just going to drop me off, right?" Uh, I guess so. You don't want me to come in? "NO Mom. Just drop me off." Ok! Back off, man! I'll just drop you off!
Last week the drama teacher (who is amazing and sensitive to Ben's quirks and so supportive) said Ben and Jonah could come to a class and see if they felt like it would be something they'd like to do. They both loved it, but Jonah wants to do drum lessons, so he decided that he'll do that for now and wait on drama class. Ben wanted to sign up right away for drama. His best buddy is in the class, so it's perfect. You never know if he will stick with something, but at this point, it doesn't matter. What matters is that he tried something new. Without me. He is putting himself out there. He is participating in the world. He is being social. He is wearing jeans tonight.
On the way out the door tonight, Ben hesitated. "Hm. These jeans are tight, though..." he said. I could tell he was on the fence about whether he should jet upstairs and change into comfy, reliable, safe sweat pants. I said you only have to wear them for an hour. And you look so handsome! So off we went. I pulled up to the front door of the studio and Ben jumped out of the car. He turned to wave as he walked in the door. He looked so…typical. He looked like any other 12 year old boy, thick sweatshirt and phone in hand. But I know what an enormous, mind-blowing thing this is, even if Ben doesn't realize it himself. That's what Mamas are for. They realize the enormity of each of your milestones even when you're oblivious because you're just living your life.
You know how in the Christmas story, the Bible talks about how Mary "pondered these things in her heart"- that has always been my most favorite sentence in the whole Bible. I've always been struck by that. Before I had children, I used to think what does that mean? Pondered in her heart. How do you ponder something in your heart? But after having my four special babies, I totally understand where Mary is coming from. I totally get "pondering in your heart." Every Mama does it. We watch our babies. We hold the memories of them close to our souls, in our soul. We worry about them and think about them and hope for them. We problem solve about how to help them through tough times. We love love love them. Fiercely love them. We hold all these things and ponder them in our hearts.
I'm holding Ben in my heart tonight and pondering him. Pondering and cherishing how he chose to wear jeans tonight. How he didn't need me to stay with him at drama class. How he's trying something new. How he's doing it alone, without Jonah. How he's happy doing it. How I trust his drama teacher knows how to push Ben, yet support and encourage him. How he's shaping the person that he is and will become through this experience.
And did I mention he's wearing jeans tonight?
I'm holding yet one more memory of my sweet child close to my soul tonight, and pondering it in my heart.