* Some names have been changed. You know why.
Almost every day my husband purposely sings a song with the intention of getting the tune stuck on repeat in my head. It’s usually something obscure and fairly terrible. (Shhh. Don’t tell him I secretly find this endearing.) With the exception of Friday. On Friday I can count on him waking the whole house with Rebecca Black’s fabulous and memorable gem, “It’s Friday!” Sing along, “It’s, Friday, Friday!” Do you have it stuck in your head now, too? Good. Now I’m at least not singing it alone all day long. You don’t know this song, you say? Do NOT Google this song! Whatever you do, stay in the dark on this. You are better off not knowing this song. You have been warned. You can find the rest of us with this song stuck on repeat,
banging our heads, humming this tune, ALL. DAY. LONG.
My son, Evan, gets things stuck in his head too. Many of you may
be familiar with the world of special needs repetition.
It can be overwhelming at times, to say the least. Lately, he has been telling me about a girl in his class that has a bag. He LOVES bags of all kinds. I’m pretty sure this girl has carried a bag to school since the beginning of time. Or at least since they have both been about three years old. For whatever reason, 15 plus years later, Evan cannot stop talking about it. Every day. “Dani has a bag.” He says this with complete excitement and the utmost surprise. “Dani has a bag!” Every day. It’s stuck in his head. I hear about it when he gets in the car after school. He will tell me a couple of times on the ride home. Then I’ll hear about it a few more times throughout the evening. And again at bedtime when he is stacking his bed full of bags for the nighttime routine. “Dani has a bag!” It’s stuck in his head and he can’t get it out.
It’s kindof comical when we get songs stuck in our heads. Annoying, yet comical. We joke about it. We sing them out loud to anyone who will listen. No? Just me?. (My family secretly loves me for this, I’m sure. Mary Poppins sing-a-long, anyone?) But it’s acceptable, right?
Why isn’t it as acceptable when our kids with special needs ask the same thing over and over? Or tell us the same story day in, day out? I understand the difference between the two situations. But we tolerate one, and have trouble putting up with the other. I’m wondering if maybe we really aren’t so different from each other after all.
We all get stuck
Maybe it’s a song that won’t leave our mind, a worry that won’t leave our heart, a dream we just can’t let go, or a hate that won’t let up. (<gasp> What hate? Who me? I am a Christian! Yeah, me neither.) Getting stuck on something, somewhere, or on somebody—it can be all we think about. My son just vocalizes what many of us hold in. But we all get stuck on repeat.
Patience Is a Virtue
At the end of the day, when Evan is piling his bed full of bags, but can’t find the YELLOW BAG!, I have usually reached the end of my rope. Especially if I have heard the same thing (“Dani has a bag!”), answered the same question, and repeated myself for what feels like four-trillion times. Lately, I’m trying to remind myself, just like Evan, I get stuck too. Stuck thinking the same thoughts, dreaming the same dreams, or hating the same hates. Over and over. So when I’ve hit my limit I tell myself he isn’t so different from me. It helps me be more patient. I’m reminded that I may be overwhelming to God with my banter, too. (As if God could be overwhelmed. But if anyone could, the yackity-yac in my head may be just the thing that sends him packing.)
Are you stuck on repeat? What’s got you stuck? Maybe you have a child that is stuck? Evan’s daily repetition reminds me to be patient and go to God when we get stuck.
Remember Jonah and the Whale? He was stuck big time. No gettin’ out of his kind of stuck without God. He prayed. And God heard his cry.