Our son Logan is six and is fascinated with the cartoon action hero kid “Ben 10.” Logan asked for the “Ben 10” action hero wrist watch two Christmases ago and still wears it daily imagining he is a hero fighting aliens, except at Sunday Mass and Faith Formation, when the wrist watch comes off for a grueling hour and a half.
Logan’s first Faith Formation church school experience without the beloved “Ben 10” watch was a test of patience for him. I took a seat in the back of class, out of sight.
I could hear Logan mutter throughout the entire class . “This is so boring.” At the end of class it was time to go into the church. All the children filed into their pews, saintly quiet, except for Logan, who continued to mutter, “This music is too loud.” He decided to put himself under the pew covering his ears and rocking. While we tried to coax him out, I could hear him murmur his favorite “Ben 10” catch phrase “It’s Hero time”.
I picked up a rather irritated six- year-old, who, was yelling out of church.
“This is so boring. I want my watch back.” I wanted to cry, but began to pray, “God I know you are going to make something good out of this! We are trying so hard, and we brought Logan to your house today.” I bent down to Logan and explained, “There is a time to be a Hero and there is a time to listen about Jesus, a Great Hero. I’m not giving your watch back until you can tell me what you learned at Faith Formation.” Logan scowled and muttered, “I’m going Hero, Mom,” ignoring everything I said, as he smacked the now invisible watch on his wrist. He transported himself into his imaginary world with “Ben 10.”
On the way home, I pulled into the Wesco gas station to fill up my popcorn bucket and in the second line was a tremendous sized man. A biker, I assumed, in full leather; bald; ears, nose and eyebrows pierced; tattoos covered the rest. There was not a soul in 20 ft of this man. I turned to see my son looking him over and with his hand on his hip, Logan yelled, “HEY DUDE, I LIKE YOUR WATCH!” All eyes were on my son and the biker.
The man stepped toward Logan, shook his hand and said, “Well thank you, little man, that is the nicest thing any one has said to me today!” Logan gave a big smile and asked the man what kind of space ship he had. The man pointed to his Harley Davidson and Logan gave a nod of approval.
I asked Logan if he remembered anything from Faith Formation class. Logan said, “Sure Mom, of course. Today was about how to love your neighbor as yourself” I gave him his “Ben 10” watch back.
My son taught me that no matter how bad things look or get, God is working even through a kid having tantrums, biker dudes at Wesco, and “Ben 10 the super hero”.
The miracle of this story is, many years ago Logan had the label and conditions of Autism. He could not connect, or communicate with his own family, look us in the eyes, say “I love you Mom and Dad” or give us a hug on his own. Today Logan connects with everyone – even a biker dude at Wesco. Despite Logan’s problems, God gets through to Logan and God got through to me.
Copyright 2009 Marjory S. Erdman