“A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense. “ Proverbs 19:11
It is interesting how we gain new knowledge and insight as we progress through new stages and struggles in life. While I have historically been a fairly patient person, I find that as I consider the temperament of my 14 year old son with Asperger Syndrome, I seem to gain newfound patience with him in some circumstances.
I have come to realize that there is no rushing Stephen to leave the house in the mornings. He has a certain order to the things he must do before he leaves. He rises early to shower. Then he goes into his bedroom to dress. After that he goes downstairs to get breakfast. On school days he must make his lunch also. After those things are done he has to go back upstairs to brush his teeth. All of these items require a certain amount of time and none of them can be “hurried”.
Eating is the same way. When Stephen gets his food he will not even attempt to eat it if he thinks it may be hot. Sometimes he will wait until other family members are almost finished eating before he begins. This can be frustrating to the rest of the family if we are trying to move everyone quickly along in order to leave the house.
One morning this week my husband fixed breakfast for the kids, but asked that each of them begin by eating fruit. Stephen chose apple and banana for his fruit. Then he began to cut the fruit into bite sized pieces to eat. He was slow and meticulous, but when he finished the pieces looked like they were ready for display—they were perfectly cut and almost all the same size! That simple act is a gentle reminder for me about how important order is to Stephen’s world and how he isn’t in a hurry about the mundane things of life. I can make accommodations to our schedule for allow Stephen the extra time he needs, but sometimes I need a reminder to take things a little slower, too.
As a side note: Now I know who I should enlist to help me next time I need to make a cut fruit salad! But, I will just have to remember to give him enough time.