Sunday, December 13, 2015
See that photo above? I took it at Church today. I know, I know. I probably should've waited until after Mass to take a photo. But if I'd waited until after Mass, I wouldn't have been able to capture Ronan holding my hand while sitting perfectly in the pew next to me. Let me repeat that.
Holding my hand.
In the pew.
Next to me.
Ronan's had other successful Church days, but he hasn't been able to go to Mass in quite some time. In fact, it's been several months since he went. It's been even longer since he really wanted to go. None of us are happy about that, but we understand that taking a child with special needs to Church can be a challenge. As much as we've tried to make it easier, it has not been easy.
I've written before about Ronan's lack of enthusiasm when it comes to going to Mass. I've written about what happens when we Ronan won't budge. It isn't the best solution, but it is a solution. I don't like it when we have to resort to Plan B and watch Mass online because that usually means Ronan has adamantly refused to get out of the car, but completely skipping Mass is not an option.
I'm not sure what made today so super awesome, but it was so super awesome! I walked into Church with Ronan riding piggy back on my back. He stayed on my back until it was time to sit for the First Reading. Then, he sat comfortably on my lap, face-to-face, resting his head on my shoulder.
Looking around, Ronan pointed to the stained glass window next to us. He looked at the the ceiling, the altar, and then he fixed his eyes on something behind the altar. During the Second Reading, Ronan raised his arm, pointed to the Crucifix, and tried to say something.
Did he? No! Did he just try to tell me that he knows that that is Jesus?
I wouldn't know unless I asked. Ronan has a crucifix in his room, given to him by a dear friend who we've known for-ev-ah. We point to the crucifix when we say prayers, "Ronan, look! It's Jesus. You can ask Him to pray for you."
When Ronan kept pointing and trying to say something today, I leaned over and whispered, "Jesus? Do you see Jesus on the cross?"
Satisfied that he heard the word he was trying to say, Ronan put his arm down and sat peacefully in the pew. That's when I reached for his hand and held it. We held hands for a few minutes until Ronan remembered that I'd brought a snack for him. Having the snack helped because Ronan continued to sit happily sandwiched between me and Izzy for at least another ten minutes. Then, Ronan indicated that he was ready to go.
Pushing his fingers into his palm, and then slowly raising his hand and arm high above his head, his sign for "stand up", Ronan looked at me and waited. I asked him to sign again. He did.
So I did.
Ronan, Izzy and I snuck to the back of the Church. Hoping that he'd want to sit in the narthex, we walked out of the pew as the Offertory Hymn began. Finding a comfy spot for the remaining few minutes, Ronan finished his snack, quietly watched a video on my phone, and then joined me as I received Communion. As he's done in the past, after I receive, he says, "Yum," very clearly. I hid a smile when I heard his sweet voice and prayed a thousand thankful prayers.
Ronan made it through 3/4th of the way through Mass today. You better believe that we'll try to go to Mass with Ronan again next week.