One week from the end of our second year together, we had a breakthrough.
J and I were paired up as Breakfast Buddies early last school year. It wasn’t easy. He didn’t talk and I didn’t know what to say; but the weeks passed. I’d try to turn it over to the Lord as I pulled in the school lot, then march bravely into the building.
When spring fever set in, I was pushed aside. He wasn’t going to eat breakfast and he didn’t want me to come. So I gave him space keeping myself occupied by “picking up” another child to spend breakfast with.
When this school year began, I indicated a willingness to catch up with J. I figured, at the very least, I would check in on him during lunch and offer him some encouragement as he entered a new grade in a new building.
“You remember me?” were his first words.
I was delighted. But that was our high point for months. Many lunchtimes, he never said a word. He would shrug his reply to my queries.
Just before Christmas, he met me with a small gift bag and a card. He was quite excited to watch me read the card and discover the cookies in the bag. He wanted to be sure I liked cookies and pointed out that his buddy across the table also likes cookies. Before lunch was over, J and I had each enjoyed a cookie and we had shared one with his friend across the table. (A great day!)
Months went on. I was becoming more important to him. He began asserting himself, making a place for me at the table next to him. (I was accustomed to having to ask children to move.) When asked about me he started giving answer: “No, she isn’t my grandma,” adding proudly, “She is my lunch buddy!”
Now to last week: When we had our picture taken together he wasn’t going to smile; until I patted his back and encouraged him. His smile broke through. He chatted animatedly about field day and the schedule for the last day of school and bringing lunch from home as we walked together to the cafeteria. He made 3 guys scoot around the table to make a spot for me. He then continued to chat freely about field day and video games and other topics. I’ve never heard him talk so much. I just listened and smiled and encouraged him.
If J is more at peace and responding better at school, it is the work of the Lord. It’s a simple job for me, all I’ve done is show up.
Patience, Persistence, Prayer. . . Powerful.