As the Challenges Grow, we sing Happy Happy Joy Joy

Wil has had a tough few days. Sometimes I can find the trigger, sometimes I can’t. Thursday I know what the trigger was. 

In an unsual set of circumstances, I worked late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. This meant I did not put Wil to bed nor wake him up the next morning. Two mornings a week Katherine and Elizabeth wake Wil up and help him get ready for school. I arrive home just in time to take them to school. Most of the time this works out great. But, like all of us, some mornings for any number of reasons are harder or easier than others. 

I prepared Wil for my being gone Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I told him I’d come in his room when I got home from work to give him a hug, and that his sisters would be there in the morning. He said ok. However, when I returned from work Thursday morning I could tell it was going to be tough. And it was. He had a stubborn day and refused to get on the bus.

Yesterday was a stubborn day too. I’m not sure why that was. But it was. To prevent another stubborn day, this morning I woke him up 10 minutes early. I always lay down with him in the morning –other than the mornings his sisters wake him up– and we take about 10 minutes to laugh, giggle and he asks for lots of hugs. So today, by waking him up 10 minutes early, that means we spent 20 minutes of laughs, giggles and hugs. He got out of bed and was singing all morning. “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Happy, Happy, Joy!” He ate a turkey burger (he’s definitey a dinner for breakfast kind of guy). Then when I heated up some egg casserole for myself that we had made the night before, he stole that from me and ate it too! 

There are many stops and starts in our days. Even with homework last night. We did it in pieces, as fortunately we had the time to do last night. He was humming along through the questions until he was in the process of writing out the word “P-r-e-s-i-d-e-n-t.” When he got to the “d” he wrote a “t” instead.
“Oh, Wil, hold on, that’s supposed to be a “d.” Presi DDD ent.”
“No, T. Presitent.”
“It can sound like a “t” but it is a “d.’ Presi DDDent.”
“No, T.” 
Pencil down. Arms crossed.

Fortunately there was time to burn in the evening and we only had a few questions left to answer.
“Hey Buddy, how about we take a break. You’ve done an amazing job getting through this. Let’s finish after dinner.”
“Ok, Mom.”

I never quite know how “after dinner” will go. So after dinner, “Wil, how about we finish those last few questions?”
“Ok, Mom!” 
<sigh of relief>
We breezed through them and then I said, “Ok, pajama time and then some free time before bed.”
“Ok, Mom!”

Just like any 12-year-old boy, Wil is dealing with hormonal changes. His mood can shift with the wind. One moment he’s happy-go-lucky and the next his heels are stuck in the ground until he is good and ready. He’s typical in so many ways, and yet he is not. This world is made for those of us with 46 chromosomes as differing as we are. It moves at a whirlwind pace for Wil and it keeps getting faster. 

I was told once, many years ago, as I was delighting over how Wil was doing in 3rd grade, “You know it’s going to get harder as Wil gets older.” I believe this person thought I had blinders on. That because Wil was having such a good year, I didn’t see the struggles that were ahead. And you know what? That person was right on one point. It is harder. 
But I don’t wear blinders and I never did. My optimism is my strength. 

When Wil was plopped down in the stairwell at the end of the day refusing to get on the bus, two of his friends encouraged him up. It took multiple tactics but they were able to eventually get him up, running and laughing. Soon they were outside joining other friends. Moments like these encourage compassion in others, cooperation in Wil, and delight in a mother witnessing it all. So yes it’s hard, but the rewards are far reaching. Every day there is a lesson in his actions. As hard as it can be, we need the Wil’s of this world to slow us down from time to time. Can you imagine what a different day it would be for all of us if we took 10 extra minutes of laughter and hugs to start our day? Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Happy, Happy, Joy!

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