A Thanksgiving Miracle

Most days that we go to church, Jonah will run laps through the hallways and the gym after service and I will chase him until it’s time to go.

Yesterday, my wife was chasing him while I took Jonny to choir practice.

Our church serves a Thanksgiving meal after Thanksgiving service, with all the works and even pumpkin pie.

Yesterday, Jonah walked right up to two complete strangers eating their meal, climbed into the seat next to them and said “num-num.” Jonah doesn’t actually eat anything that was present on the table.

But they gave him their pumpkin pie. Jonah began eating the whip cream off the top.

The couple then offered to get him a meal (because we must not feed our poor kid if he is mooching off of complete strangers).

It was about this time I came back to check on them and my wife is like “go get him some food!” (They were about done serving and I wanted to spare my wife the judgemental staring as my son imposed his will on their meal).

He probably wouldn’t even eat it.

But it smelled delicious and I knew that I would be the one eating it if I got some for him anyways, so off I went.

I went and got two plates. One for my wife and one for Jonah me.

When I came back, the couple had left, and there was Jojo… perfectly content holding a fork and sitting with a plate of pumpkin pie and picking off the whipped cream. They will never know how huge of a victory they had just witnessed. Sitting still without being buckled in. Trying a new food. Approaching others and behaving appropriately. Sitting down with them. SPEAKING to them unprompted.

So I gave my wife her meal and I started to eat mine. I put a couple different foods in front of Jojo to try. He didn’t try any of them.

What he DID do was to request to play with my phone and crawled under the table to watch it. He stayed there for half an hour. My wife and I got to eat a full meal together. Usually we will have to eat in shifts while one of us chases Jojo around the church.

But yesterday, friends came and sat with us and we got to actually VISIT with people.

It was glorious, y’all.

Since Jonah learned how to walk, he has always ran around the church. It’s what he does.

But yesterday, we had a breakthrough that nobody else noticed. Our friends came and sat with us, but we couldn’t contribute a lot to the conversation… because as parents, you never know how much time you have left to finish your food. But we had time enough to eat, chat, shoot the breeze and just “RELAX.”

As Ausome parents, that has been the one thing, I now realize I took for granted before. The chance to just relax when you are on parenting duty, and shoot the breeze with other parents and still know your kids are fine. Usually you have to rely on others to have that “luxury.” You rely on a host of very trusted childcare workers, teachers, nannies, Aunties and Grammies and Papas… and you always have at least a bit of anxiety about your child being in someone else’s care.

But to be able to sit down to a good meal with my wife without a bit of anxiety about either of my kids, and to be able to visit with friends without feeling we are on “borrowed time” until he reaches the end of his “stamina.”

That right there is a little slice of heaven for us as Ausome parents.

Call it a “Thanksgiving Miracle.”

Because that is something to TRULY be thankful for.

Jason Reynolds
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Jason Reynolds

Jason is a freelance photographer and graphic designer. He is also a parent of Jonny (9) and Jonah (4) who was diagnosed with Autism in December 2016.
Jason Reynolds
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