“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small. And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all. It’s time to see what I can do to test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m free.” – Elsa from Frozen
I’m big on stories and messages. Messages that are as “plain as the nose on your face.” And messages that require a deep kind of spirit level listening. That’s probably why I’m a writer, photographer, and a movie buff. I love getting to a Fable’s moral of the story. I love books and movies that are based on true stories. I love paintings and every day objects that beg for you to look closely. I love hearing a preacher thunder away with a tone that makes you wonder, “Are they mad or something?” I see their passion and it inspires me to straighten up, because I am after all on the frontlines! I must admit though that nursery rhythms and poems leave me alarmed and confused; Sometimes both.
We celebrated Quin’s 4th Birthday at Storybook Gardens in London, ON this past Summer. Our family went there a lot when I was a child. Back when they had animals and sitting on the wall with Humpty was the highlight. The best part about our most recent trip was that Elsa & Anna from Frozen were there for a very special musical appearance.
Quin first saw the movie with his Auntie on the big screen. And every day for a year after that it was, “Let’s play Frozen. You be Anna and I’ll be Elsa!” I know this was probably the narrative for most parents of preschool children at the time the movie was released:) Quin’s class even sang it at their Christmas Concert for goodness sake!
Back at the beginning of September I wrote these words in a blog post entitled “Seasons of Letting Go” in anticipation of Quin’s first day at school:
“I know that Quin is going to ‘“crush it”’ at Junior Kindergarten:) I know that he will also experience pain and mommy won’t be able to make everything better. (Have I ever really been able to??) Pain and loss have purpose….This gives me hope that whatever comes, my son is going to be okay and so will I. I don’t need to understand or control everything. I need to trust and embrace another season of letting go.”‘
Well it turns out that Quin didn’t “crush it” at Junior Kindergarten. The truth is that his experience has been exactly the opposite. He has been terribly overwhelmed, angry, and unhappy. After many months of trying to help him adjust we have decided to pull him out of JK. I will be taking care of him full-time to help him heal and begin to learn new ways of coping with life. Over the past few months we’ve been blessed to be able to access much-needed resources through Front Door Mental Health Services, Kids Ability and most recently an in-depth psych assessment through the Grand River Preschool Diagnostic Team.
The decision to bring him home has required big changes as you would imagine. I’ve let go of my business location in downtown Kitchener; I’ve let go of my hope that Quin would adjust to the transitions of life like any other child. There is a grieving that accompanies these realities. However, throughout his short life I have been distinctly aware that (like Elsa and like Moses) Quin is “no ordinary child”. God is writing a beautiful story with Quin as the lead character. As you can see from the photos, when Quin smiles he SMILES:) He feels things deeply and the word “expressive” is an understatement! Quin’s smile is only one of a thousand gifts of love that he has to share with the world.
I pray for strength as Quin’s story unfolds over the next few months and I look forward to unwrapping some amazing gifts.