Diarrhea and therapists…and the connection is? Unless one aspires to a Zen world view, there probably is no connection. In our house, the two have been known to arrive on the same day, and we pray to be delivered from both. Here’s the thing about therapists. They’re not bad people and either are bill collectors, IRS agents, dentists, lawyers and proctologists. Therapists come into our home to fix our broken kids who apparently can’t do anything right. They can’t walk right, they can’ t see right, they can’t talk right, they can’t hold the crayon right, they can’t eat right and don’t even try to get them to use a pair of scissors right. The only thing they can do right is have diarrhea. They can do that perfectly. The therapists don’t need to fix the diarrhea. There isn’t anything wrong with it .
There are all kinds of therapists. There are physical therapists , occupational therapists, vision therapists, therapists for special instruction, and my favorite, orientation mobility therapists. In our case, a disorientation mobility therapist might be more appropriate. Therapists are well schooled. They study and become skilled in their profession, hoping to one day be of service to others. It all looks good on paper. They come into our home and after a thorough assessment, inform us that we need to make sure Rosey walks up the stairs alternating feet as she climbs up without holding onto the railing. We need to accentuate and exaggerate the final letter sounds of words so that Alex can begin to say the whole word not just part of it. For example, we need to say the word “cat” as “caT” with the emphasis on the final t. So basically, we need to yell the ending of all the words we say to him. Also, we need to create a traffic light out of paper and when we are getting ready to go somewhere but aren’t quite ready yet, we tell Alex we are at the yellow light and almost to the green light. Really?? This is in a house where often, the first goal is to make sure that everyone not only has a shirt to wear but pants too. Or where cousin Megan’s visiting Rastafarian friend, shows up, dreadlocks to his knees, at our bathroom door searching for his missing ferret.
Therapists come to provide help and for this we are most grateful. There is a trade off, however. There is a loss of privacy and it is difficult to be at home in one’s own home. On the plus side, Dexter and I have the perfect marriage. With so many outsiders so often in the house we couldn’t have an argument even if we wanted to have one. There is no chance of spending the day on the couch in pajamas, watching soap operas and eating bonbons. (Actually , I am not even sure what a bonbon is.)
We prayed for deliverance but we would be better off seeking the grace to be steadfast at the helm; to carry out each day’s ordinary and mundane responsibilities, faithfully and with love. And even when we don’t feel like it, putting up with people like therapists who, by the way, are people carrying out their ordinary mundane responsibilities, even when they may not feel like it. No easy life for them when the kid they are trying to work with barely makes an inch of progress, if any at all; when there are more steps back than forward. After all, therapists have their own families, stress and worries and probably are often not comfortable being in other peoples’ homes. They are sacrificing everyday for the good of others and doing it with pleasant demeanor and a smile, whether they feel like it or not.
All this is a reminder of St. Therese of Lisieux, in her practice of the “little way”. St. Therese speaks of doing not extraordinary things but ordinary things with great love. Perhaps the trick is not deliverance but to put up with each other and all the “do do” in our lives with love.
This entry was posted in Marriage and Family on July 19, 2014.
The Napkin Notes and Coffee Thoughts blog is an uplifting glimpse into the family story of Kathie and Dexter Lanctot, cofounders of Epiphany House, Inc. an organization that promotes adoption of children with special needs. It is told from selections of their correspondence via napkins and small notebooks. It is a story they have been repeatedly been urged to tell.