It’s only Wednesday, but already it’s been a tough week for Phineas. Come to think of it, last week wasn’t so great either.
It feels like everywhere he turns lately, he’s pushing the limits, and not necessarily in a Chuck Yeager “I’m gonna break the sound barrier” kind of way. He’s been obstinate, disobedient, just down right naughty.
While this has been a struggle for Heather and me, in some ways, perhaps we should take some comfort in the way he’s acting. I’m not suggesting we condone it. Absolutely not. But maybe this is a sign that Phineas is growing, maturing, in ways that we just don’t recognize.
Read enough pieces on this blog, and you know that Phineas, despite being nearly 11 years old, has some severe cognitive disabilities. And so it’s tough sometimes to tell what age his mental acuity is.
As our other children have grown, they’ve followed the traditional — both physically and mentally — growth patterns. Age two is into everything, three able to play better alone and in groups, four inquisitive and so one.
But that’s not Phineas. You can teach him to count to 10 over and over again, and some days he’s got it, and others, well… he wants to know what a number is.
But lately, I’ve noticed a small change in him. His descriptions of events have gotten longer. He’s thinking a bit more freely on his own rather than just echoing what a sibling says. Last week, he came back from church, and had heard enough that stuck so he could be a part of the lunch time conversation.
And in the evenings, when he and I have a moment alone, those times where I’m trying to gauge his spiritual growth, there is more awareness of who Jesus is — or maybe who He isn’t — so that you can see he’s trying to piece that whole God thing together. Suddenly, God isn’t just an invisible entity your parents make up, but something to consider.
For Heather’s birthday, instead of his usual picture of a robot, he gave her three pictures depicting Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. That’s a lot for a boy who struggles in most abstract thinking type endeavors.
So, while the bad is less welcome than I’d like, it’s possible something else, something only God can do, is going on with Phineas. I’ll take it.