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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

thankful for dodgeball

alot of you have asked ummmm how in the heck does a 12 year-old kid smash an 8 year-old's face into a brick wall!!??
it's a very logical question in response to yesterday's post.
at the beginning of the school year twelve years ago, the hubs and i decided it would be a good idea for me to go part-time and be a SAHM after school. it was great to be able to be home to work on homework, take the kids to their sporting practices, actually make our own meals and eat at home. who knew getting off three hours earlier would be so awesome!?
all this bonding, though, wasn't seen as such a bonus from our kids' perspectives.
they missed all the playtime after school.
our neighborhood did not offer the kind of activity level they were accustomed to… but we had a great alternative. on the very road we travel to get home is a community recreation center… complete with two adult supervisors, a gym and an arts and crafts area. our kids loved going there. bamagirl for games and artsy activities, boywonder for the gym and all things ball.
the community center was also the drop off spot for the magnet middle school. those students were picked up and dropped off by the school bus and taken to the magnet school downtown. alot of the kids would stay at the rec center after school.
that's how a 12 year-old and an 8 year-old ended up in the same game of dodge ball.
{cue the dark, sinister music here}
what we didn't know at the time was this particular kid had some anomalies… not enough to get him excommunicated from the center… but perhaps enough that someone should have been monitoring him more closely. he had a head tick consistent with Tourette's behavior and also was ADHD. not that there's anything wrong with either of those issues… they just come in to play.
sixth graders are typically bigger than third graders. this one was particularly big. burly, in fact. boywonder, who has always been athletically inclined and liked playing with older boys, threw the dodgeball at josh. but his aim was off and as josh moved, josh got popped in the head with the ball, which bounced off and landed just behind boywonder's feet. boywonder turned his back and bent down to retrieve the ball, and as he did that, an enraged josh barreled across the circle of boys with his arms folded in front of his chest and body slammed the just standing up boywonder in the back.
boywonder was close to the wall, and his head snapped back and then snapped forward in an eating motion to the cinderblock wall. the wall won.
josh saw what he had done and ran.
boywonder crumpled to the ground and sat holding his now gushing mouth.
thankfully, bamagirl was doing crafts and didn't see anything.
later that evening, josh was found, we talked to the parents and exchanged insurance info and all was handled calmly and politely. the parents offered up profuse apologies… the peace of Christ was awash over us and we were able to offer up forgiveness and grace.
two days later, with swollen lips, stitches, dried blood and missing teeth… boywonder offered forgiveness to josh {who apologized with an "i didn't know the wall was so close."}. even though we were focused on the idea of extending grace with love, we thought it important for josh to see the fruits of his anger up close and personal while boywonder still looked pretty rough.
i'd love to tell you at this moment everyone held hands and josh and his family were ushered into the family of believers… but that would be a fabrication of the events. we are hopeful that significant seeds were planted that evening and that the grace of God would work in their hearts.
josh was sent to an adolescent "boot camp" within the week and we heard he finished his high school years at a military school in arizona. the parents went on to divorce and we have lost track of them.
we ended up having to sue because their insurance company would not cover a "purpose" since apparently, only "accidents" are covered. suing is not really something we believe in… but we knew we had an obligation to provide for the expensive, long-range care boywonder would need. giving a third of that money to the lawyer was not fun… since we got such a small settlement. we settled out of court because josh's family were adamant about keeping his medical records sealed. not sure what that was all about.
we could certainly could have used more resources over the years to care for boywonder, but the Lord has been faithful to provide adequate credit and the means to manage our payments. it's not perfect, but we are able to manage, and for that, i'm grateful to the Lord for His care for us, for boywonder's mouth, and most of all, for our hearts.
it's not a story i would have chosen for boywonder, but it's the story that the Lord gave him, and us. we're thankful for how the Lord has carried us, given us the capacity to love and forgive, and deeply thankful that all we've {he's} had to deal with are the three missing teeth. we don't have a son with developmental delays because of a traumatic brain injury. we didn't have to bury our son that day because of his nose telescoping into his brain {grace of a fraction of an inch}. we have so much to be thankful for… and this thanksgiving is what we've celebrated throughout the entire process… especially during those {few} times of feeling frustrated or angriness over "why me?"
boywonder has been given a sweet story to share. his smile comes from deep in his heart… the same heart that has been occupied by Christ since he was a boy of five.
i'm most deeply thankful for that.


  1. Beautiful Family. Thank you for sharing... "The rest of the story."

  2. You do have so much to be thankful for. How wonderful that he has had Christ in his life since he was five. I always wished I had know Christ earlier in my life but I know he was always there for me.

  3. That is quite a story. I am glad things turned out the way they did.

  4. What a story! It is incredible the little twists life can take, isn't it? You are right to be thankful, and thank you for sharing.

  5. It's sad to see what has happened to Josh and his parents since the incident. We don't know how God will use these things in our lives, but we know that nothing happens by chance, and we know that we can trust Him. Praise God for the faith He has given your son. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. I was irked all day yesterday about the insurance situation, I was going to ask you about it. Absolutely ridiculous. The way you guys all handled it though... wow. I know that in the things we've had to deal with, I have not had that kind of grace. Is it wrong to hope I never have to? Ugh.

    What a wonder that boy is... it's obvious that the Lord's hand is the one that guides him! Did he go through any kind of psychological/emotional issues b/c of it all?

  7. I thought Josh did this on it's nice to know he didn't...really.

    Perspective is a special gift from God, some people choose to see it and others don't. You have accepted this gift with such grace.


love me some comment love… thanks so much for taking the time to share your heart with me!