Christmas vacation was over. On the first day back to school, I felt like I should make a good start to the year, too. So as I drove around to all the schools that morning, I set myself the task of watching throughout the day to see if I could spot a moment when I could feel the hand of Heavenly Father working in my life.
The day went well enough for a first day, all things considered. But the kids were reeling from exhaustion by the time they got home, just dealing with the social struggles and workload of school after the restful break. And we hadn’t even made it to homework time. I was wondering if I would find my Heavenly Father moment.
Then came homework time for DK.
He fought it all afternoon — which was fine by me. It gave me a chance to help his sisters and get dinner finished. But then it was finally time to focus all my strength on him.
“Mom, you’re getting more strict, too, just like my teacher!” he complained. Then a picture opened in my mind, and I cuddled him up in my arms and told him the picture …
“My son, imagine you are swimming out in the ocean. It’s fun, and you are playing, but I can see a huge wave coming. I know that a half hour of hard work will save your life — but you don’t see the wave. You don’t want to work; you want to play. Which choice should I make?”
He saw the picture and answered “the half hour of work.”
“Yes, being strong and strict to make you work for a half hour just saved your life on that ocean, and now you’re safe, and can play the rest of the day. This is the same thing. There are things you need to know before you hit the adult world. You need to know some basics, and how to find answers, and how to make yourself do hard things — or you won’t survive the adult world. You will drown.”
Well, he cuddled into my lap and started working, painstakingly writing his answers and smiling at my silly jokes. And I thought, I wonder which was the greater “Hand of God” moment — the mini story that hit my head fully formed — or the minute of sudden and complete clarity of thought that my Autistic son had, allowing him not only to understand the parable, but to make the jump, to apply it to himself enough to overcome his fear of writing for the rest of the afternoon.
Nephi mentioned that small things are often the greatest miracles of all. It makes you wonder.