Every session when we sign Ben in at Brain Balance, we see how many sessions we have brought him in for. I was shocked today to see that we are really at the halfway marker. WHAT!?!?! No way have we been doing this for over three months. No way have we been back and forth to
Fort Wayne over 35 times
in that time frame. There is just. no.
It has been a very discouraging three weeks for our family. For the first part, we had struggled with the
about a month ago. Ben's coaches were changing every session,
which meant that every session he was getting out of doing a lot of work
through his passive-aggressive, sneaky ways.
Center Fort Wayne is way too far
away for us to drive so that Ben can goof off for an hour. Ben wasn't really establishing a relationship
with any one coach, and if you've ever been in early childhood education, you
know that the relationship a child has with their teacher is critical. I called the director and asked that this be
remedied, but the solution has been more of a struggle to enact than we had
It's taken three weeks for Ben to now have a coach for all of his sessions that he really connects with. She's not afraid of making him work, and she knows how to call his bluff. Not only that, she volunteered to be Ben's coach. Asked to take him for every session. And is now committed to helping Ben get to where he needs to be. This is a huge encouragement, and we are pushing forward with her, thrilled that she has taken a personal interest in our son and his goals.
In the meantime, the homefront has gotten increasingly stressful. Ben has been doing great with his specialized diet, but he fights us every day on the exercises, trying to cut corners and do the least amount of work possible. Yes, Mom, I do realize that this is my consequence for years of driving you crazy in homeschool. David and I are trying to be creative in how we motivate Ben to do the work, but it drives me bananas that we have to have the same fights every. stinking. day even though he knows that he will have to do the work regardless. We're tired of this. He's tired of this. We're all tired of this.
Today Ben was crying huge crocodile tears as he mourned that Laura and Emily were going to my mom's for a playdate with their cousins and Ben never gets to go to playdates anymore. And it's the truth. Three days a week, that boy has to be in
One day a week we normally are going to
doctor/dentist/specialist appointments for him or for one of the girls. And the other day of the week often holds
MOPS or errands. I want to give him a
playdate. I just don't know where to squeeze it in. I know he's lonely (imagine that in our
house!), but it's hard to know how to solve that problem when the schedule has
NO breathing room.
We've also seen an increase in the number of fits that Ben is having. Any time a decision doesn't go his way, he doesn't get what he wants, or one of the other children gets something he doesn't, Ben breaks down. There's screaming, crying, flailing, and sometimes throwing. A response I would expect from a 3 year old, but definitely not from a 5 year old. Add to that the fact that he has moved backwards in some of his physical goals, and this momma's going a bit cuckoo. We were told that there would be a second struggle period, and I think we've arrived.
While I want to be positive (we aren't where we started!), I want to be real for the sake of anyone out there who is considering this program. It's not a cure-all. It's a boatload of work. And at the halfway marker, we still don't know what life is going to look like on the other end. Also, there are issues in Ben's life... heart issues... that are becoming more apparent now that physical barriers have come down. I know a huge part of our struggle is that Ben hasn't come to a place of surrender with Jesus Christ.
All that said, thank you to those of you who still faithfully lift up our family through this season. Because that's what it definitely is... a season. A period where we are stretching our strength for the greater good and praying that we don't lose more than we gain. If you're still on that prayer team, would you pray specifically for Ben on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday? That he would do his best to obey his coach so he can get the most out of his sessions. And would you pray for David and me? That we would surrender ourselves to Jesus so that Ben has the parents he needs to finish this journey well. And would you pray that Ben would come to understand and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior? I know every problem in our life isn't miraculously solved when we come to faith in Christ, but having spent so much time with Ben in the last four months, I see so clearly that he needs the Holy Spirit just as much as his rebellious, broken momma.
And thanks. Thank for reading this. For praying. For supporting us with your encouragement and for wanting the best for Ben right along with us. We are blessing beyond measure even when we feel buried under the weight of all that life is for us right now.