After school yesterday, my 5 year-old said “I’m a happy boy, momma!”
When I asked him why, he responded:
“Because it’s Friday, and that means I have two days off to relax!”
School for my little one is hard. He has Sensory Processing Dysfunction, which means that it’s hard for him to interpret information coming into his body through sensory channels and make appropriate responses. For him in particular, it means that many aspects of school are a lot of work. Sitting still is hard. Paying attention is hard. Playing well with others is hard. Doing what the teachers wants and expects is hard. Learning is hard. Things sometimes don’t make sense visually or auditorily. He is sensory seeking, which means he needs a lot of physical activity.
He does pretty well. Writing is developmentally on target. He has adapted to the routine, and found ways to cope. He loves his teachers and his friends, and they love him. He enjoys being read to, and has good comprehension. But some things are hard, and will get harder. Like reading, or even learning his letters and their sounds.
So when he says he is a happy boy because he can relax, he really means it. And he appreciates the gift of that time in a way that points to grace.
For him, the weekends are grace. He know that he needs to work during the week. Sometimes going to school is okay, but on other days there is a lot of resistance. But weekends – those are a gift. He doesn’t earn them. He doesn’t have to make appropriate progress to receive them. To paraphrase Buechner: there’s nothing he has to DO; there is nothing he HAS to do; there’s nothing HE has to do. Weekends are gift.
I think he probably “gets” grace better than most. I think he also understands sabbath rest better than most. And because of him, I, too, can relax and lean into those gifts a bit more often.