I dread waking up on Sunday mornings. Not because it is Sunday, but because of what I have to wake up to. Each morning, I get woken up by the sounds of my 4 year old who has pressed his face up against the crack under his door to call my name in long extended sounds... MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Not quite the alarm I look forward to, his voice echoes into the hall, and I have to hurry out of bed before everyone in the house is awakened by his hollering. I guess it is better than some other alarm options, but still. .. Anyway, the first thing we do when I open his door, is let him go to the bathroom, because usually MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYY is followed by, " I NEED TO GO POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYYY!
Then he proclaims to me that "The Sun is up!" Which is debatable because it is usually 6:00 or 6:30 and the sun has in fact NOT come up, but is just barely casting a pale color other than total blackness.
After that, we get him dressed. Why do I do it right then? Because waiting just delays a painful process of deciding what to wear. Jaxon is particularly fond of one or two shirts in his wardrobe, and it is always a challenge when I want him to wear a different one. When we get ready to change clothes, he asks me, "What are we doing?" Usually the answer is, "Going to School!" Which is generally a well received answer, and this is the answer 5 out of 7 days of course. Saturdays, I don't get him dressed right when he wakes up, but Sunday, the answer is "Going to Church!" The reaction to this response is always tears, and it is at that point that I dread the fact that it is Sunday. "But, I don't want to go to church!" is his answer. I thought I wouldn't have to hear this response until my kids were teenagers, hopefully I am getting it all in now.
I am sure he has many reasons for not liking to go to church (i.e. sitting still, being quiet, not touching neighbors etc.) however, when we are getting dressed, the current obstacle is, he has to wear a collared shirt. No matter what kind of shirt it is, polo, rugby, or button up.. if it has a collar, he thinks it is a church shirt, and if it is a school day, he doesn't want to wear a shirt with a collar. When we put on the collared shirt, he knows it is inevitable... we are going to church.
Today, however, I had a slightly different game plan. Peter and I decided it was time to wear a white dress shirt, with a tie. I know, we are brave, brave parents. We tried to make this transition in the most gentle manner, and by using just a little bit of trickery. I got him dressed, but put him off his guard by just having him put on a white t-shirt, and putting on his socks, and dress pants. The plan was to have him put on his shirt and tie at the same time as Peter. We even got them matching (sort of) ties, so they could be twins! When it was time, I gave Jaxon his dress shirt, and tie, and said... take this to DADDY! He usually responds with enthusiasm to this kind of task... and he did today too. I am not quite sure what happened after that. I could hear Peter upstairs using a very upbeat voice and saying things like "LOOK! JUST LIKE DADDY!" "COOL" and "SEE???" I figured it was going well, and it was.. Jaxon came down stairs with his daddy, and a HUGE smile on his face. The battle was WON! with little to no resistance!
MIRACLE # 1: Jaxon wore a dress shirt and tie to church!
Much to my amazement, the Miracles kept coming! Sharing time is yet ANOTHER challenging time for Jaxon. Sitting next to friends without touching them is a very difficult task. So is the task is watching the chorister involve kids in singing time without being able to participate himself. She of course is involving the kids that are being reverent, or quiet which is usually never Jaxon... thus making the process of getting through singing time even more of a challenge. Even today, she had three cups on the table and even though he reached out to try to touch them several times, he never did, and he never got out of his seat. That was AMAZING MIRACLE #2! AMAZING MIRACLE #3 followed closely behind when the chorister noticed Jaxon's good behavior, and actually rewarded him by letting him choose one of the cups! YEAH FOR JAXON! It was great to have his "good" behavior rewarded in such a large group setting. I was grateful that she noticed, and finally gave him a chance.
I never ask how Jaxon was during his Sunday School class, because I am sure he was a challenge. The first day Jaxon was a Sunbeam, I formally apologized to his teachers, and promised them that they would be blessed for being Jaxon's first ever Sunday School teachers. They laughed at me, and I am sure thought I was just kidding until after class started :) Since then, I just move as quickly as I can to pick him up from class after church, and I am careful to make Jaxon say "thank you" to his teachers before I whisk him away. Today however, it was a day of MIRACLES and MIRACLE #4 happened when we picked him up from class! His teacher looked at me and with a totally straight face said, "Jaxon was really good in class today!" I am sure a look of confusion and disbelief crossed my face, but he looked genuinely sincere, and I had no choice but to believe him! What a great day of miracles! But 4 miracles was not enough!
We came home, and Jaxon wanted a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. This is no different from any other day, and we can get him to eat a few other things, but usually this meal will go down with the least resistance. Usually only the crust is left behind, and we normally take another 15 minutes to get him to eat at least 1/2 of the crust left behind. Today, I wasn't really paying attention, when MIRACLE #5 happened! I looked over at Jaxon's plate when he was almost finished, and I noticed something different about his plate.... it was not strewn with the fractured crusts of a dismantled peanut butter and jelly sandwich... It was entirely clean... I demanded that Peter turn around and look at Jaxon's plate, just to be sure I wasn't seeing things... so naturally since you usually can't take a picture of miracles... I took a picture of miracle #5... Jaxon's clean plate.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing day of miracles. I know many of you might think these kinds of things are run of the mill, but not for us, or Jaxon. I am grateful to see him progressing, and growing, and learning to do the right thing. For us and Jaxon this IS a miracle! I attribute it all to wearing the TIE!! :)