As Owen gets older, he is getting a little bit better at understanding what his body needs. For example, he will sometimes tell us he needs to jump. When that happens, we send him to the ottoman and let him jump off it as many times as he needs to. Sometimes he says he needs his backpack on and he'll leave it on for long periods of time until he feels "organized" again. (Organized meaning his brain has corrected the "traffic jam" and is once again sending the right signals.) Sometimes he'll ask for bunny hops in the middle of a transition and we drop everything to hop him from Point A to Point B. It's not very fun but at least I'm getting an arm workout, right?
But my favorite has come about in the past few months and I LOVE IT because it is a direct answer to prayer.
When we were told Owen had SPD and autistic tendencies, one of my greatest fears was that he wouldn't want to be touched. (This is very common in both disorders.) I prayed hard to God because I knew that would be my breaking point. I feared if Owen couldn't handle my affections, it would send me over the emotional edge of the cliff I was precariously tight-rope walking at the time. You see, I'm a toucher. (I know that sounded dirty; get your minds out of the gutter.) It's true though. I love giving hugs and holding hands and using affection to show others what they mean to me. So the thought of not being able to do that with one of my children was devastating to me.
God answered my prayer ten fold.
Does Owen always like to be touched? Nope. Sometimes he only tolerates it, but at other times, he craves it from me. His body needs to be held tight and his hands need to find comfort on my face or in my hair. It is definitely not always at the most opportune times, but I pick up his 28 pound body and let him slump against me because I know this is God's way of saying "See? Everything is going to be alright. I'm still listening. I'm still answering."
Now instead of just screaming, Owen knows when his body needs that tight embrace and he will come running on the verge of a meltdown and say, "Mommy, I need a nuggle. I need a nuggle. I want to nuggle you." And we nuggle and brush and do joints and nuggle some more and once the traffic jam in his brain is over, he's off on his next adventure and I'm thanking God for helping an affectionate girl out.
Because one should never underestimate the art of a good Nuggle.