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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Broken Things, Not Broken People

I just wanted to post a quick blog about a big lesson I learned toady, one that I have struggled with for years with Jackson.  Earlier today he threw a remote control at our only TV and permanently damaged the screen.  He came up and asked me to "help fix the Tivo please" in a very pleasant tone.  I said, "Sure, buddy" and when I got downstairs, I saw the damage.  I knelt in front of the broken TV and bent my head forward...in tears.




As I cried over yet another costly repair resulting from his anger and/or lack of understanding of how to take care of things, he began to rub my back and kiss my head.  He simply said, "You made a mistake and are sorry for the fix it."

I felt like, for the first time, I could put his feelings of remorse in front of my own of frustration or self-pity.  I learned today that people are more important than things, and I'm ashamed to say that it has taken me a long time to get to this point.

Few people outside of autism parents, (notice I didn't say the "autism community" because you really have to be a parent to get this), understand that there is a real monetary cost to autism that blows apart any estimate on how our finances will be impacted by our special needs kids.  We literally spend thousands and thousands of dollars a year fixing, replacing and repairing things that we NEVER anticipated in any reasonable budgeting process.  It can be exhausting and disheartening as the years march on and on...

But today, I feel like I've come to see that Jackson feels a lot worse that I ever could about these situations.  And instead of trying to lie and manipulate his way out of it, like most teenagers would, his only concern was for my feelings.  He is a true servant and the best model of love that I have in my life, and I need to learn more from him and less from the world about the value of people over things.




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