For Palm Sunday, the routine at church is different, in that we go up front to get our palm fronds, and then walk round the church a few times with them while singing. Turns out that for a child with Autism this is very difficult. Brian was at home, sleeping off a cold bug, so I was on my own. I had Caleb behind me pretending his palm frond was an airplane (and making the accompanying airplane noises), and Adam beside me hitting his head, crying, and trying to get back to our seat the whole time. I contemplated running out the front door, but we stuck it out. Adam sat on the floor and rocked through the dramatic reading of the Gospel, which was fine. He is, after all, who he is, and we were listening to the story of Jesus being killed for being who He is.
Then we headed to coffee, where it went downhill. I think it was Caleb grabbing my arm with a cup of hot coffee in my hand that started us off, but from that moment on I spent the day arguing with him, having to resort to serious disciplinary measures twice in painful moments of necessity. Argh, I hate those moments, where you have to react instantly and then spend the rest of the day wondering if you did the right thing.
That evening, the choir was singing a few pieces of Lenten music at church. I decided it was crucial that I not only get out of the house, but have some time to reflect on the day and on Lent in peace. The music was beautiful, though terrifyingly difficult for me, and to be honest I spent much of it (hope Dr Morrison doesn't read this!!) mouthing the words and not singing at all! But the silence was therapeutic, and the message about Job reminded me of the point and place of suffering in our lives, not that I could even begin to call my Sunday "suffering". After I got home I still had time to mend hearts with Caleb before he went to sleep, which was truly the sweetest part of the whole day.
I'd like to think that if I sailed through Lent without any crises of soul it wouldn't be what it's supposed to be. I spent the day seriously doubting my ability to be a parent, to help Adam cope with life, to discipline right, to make good decisions, to sing in a choir, to do this thing called Life at all. But the whole point of Job, and Lent, and life, is not that we do things perfectly, but that we are becoming who we are supposed to be. Now that I think about it, Palm Sunday set me up well to already be at ground zero on Monday, and have what turned out to be our best first day of the holidays in a while. So maybe I am learning after all.