And then Dave told me that Will was such a testimony to the boys. There were two other brother combos in the group - all unsaved boys. They saw how patient Will was with Ben during his meltdowns and really how all 3 boys treated each other and it caused them to ask questions of Dave later in the week because their relationships with their brothers were not the same. Anyway, one of the boys ended up getting saved! Dave told me there was a reason Ben and Will were there, even if it was for that short time, because they were a testimony to the other boys, who needed to see that.
So this really warms the cockles of my heart! Here I have been feeling crummy all week long over this camping fiasco and perhaps it wasn't a total loss. I wish I could say this was all due to my superior parenting, but I don't think so. I have made lots of mistakes. I just have really great kids. And perhaps Ben's situation has affected the other boys more than I ever really thought it did, making them more compassionate and merciful as a result. Not that they don't "get into it" with each other from time to time - they are siblings, after all! Although, Ben did comment to me this last week even on that. He said, "Mom, do you remember when I used to take revenge on my brothers?" That had gotten to be a real problem with him last year. Kids on the autism spectrum tend not to have graduations of anger. They go from mildly irritated to enraged within seconds. So his brothers would do something to him and he would completely overreact, chasing them around the house with the intent to harm. That behavior has almost completely stopped within the past 6-8 months, thankfully. I told him, yes, I remembered. Ben said, "Well, that was wrong of me. God tells us in the Bible not to take revenge, doesn't He?" Oh, boy, did that comment make me rejoice!
Also from Ben: last night Ben was being miserable again over his need to come home from camp. He said, "But I'm not a little kid...I'm a man!" I about spit out the water I was drinking at the time! Not yet, Ben - but someday. And I'm beginning to think that you may end up becoming one I can be really proud of.