When I told Chance that I wanted to write a post that illustrated something about Nasko that could shatter Pinterest Envy, he recalled a very fitting event. He wanted to record it since I wasn't present. Here is what he had to say: Here’s What Happened The day had been awesome; we had seen trains, dinosaurs and mummies. What else could a seven year old ask for?
As we made our way to the food court, Ginger needed to take Louis to the bathroom to change his diaper. As she headed back to the locker to get the necessary materials, to help pass the time, Nasko and I watched a giant clock (http://www.childrensmuseum.org/sites/default/files/GiantWaterClock.pdf) made of glass tubes and water.
As Nasko approached the clock, he climbed up a little yellow rail that prevented children from actually touching the device. Since he was only two steps up or so, and a few more steps remained before he had reached the summit, I let him be. Honestly, I took it as a small victory (a year ago, he would have bounded over the entire barrier with the speed of a cheetah).
As Nasko perched at his higher position and watched the water flow down, I noticed a little boy approaching. Without words, the little man climbed up a rung or so on the fence to gaze in amazement. Very quickly though, his grandmother (I presume) came over and chewed him out severely. Looking at her and looking at my son, I thought to myself, “Well, she’s gonna think I’m a terrible parent if I don’t talk to my son. I better go get him down.”
As I approached Nasko to ask him to step down, he looked at me with terror in his eyes. Instantly, my son disappeared and someone I had not seen for a long time emerged (read: since Nasko first came home).
Nasko started screaming violently. He flopped backwards in an attempt to smack his head on the floor. Tears were flooding down his face.
I tried to comfort him, but my words bounced right off of him.
He started using one hand to claw the flesh off of the other. He brought his hand to his mouth so he could bite it and tear away at his body.
I tried to grab him and protect him from himself, but I could not contain him.
He broke my grip once. Twice. Three times. Four times. Five times. Six times.
I finally lost count.
Try as I may, I could not hold on to him and maintain a grip. At 155 pounds, I’m fairly strong for my size, but Nasko, at 45 pounds, in that moment, was stronger.
I could feel dozens of people, hundreds of people, watching me fail as a father.
Eventually, I was able to take hold of him and lead him to a bench across the room. Again, he broke free, only this time, he looked me square in the eyes and for a moment, I saw Nasko, my son Nasko, return.
I will never forget what his eyes told me. They asked me:
Taty, why? Why am I doing this? Why can’t I stop? Can you help me?
In that moment, I felt such compassion, sadness and sorrow for my beloved boy.
And in an instant, whatever it was that Nasko had detained for those few seconds, rose again and took over once more.
My son ran from me. He ran from me.
Again, the real Nasko broke through and asked the same questions with his eyes, but I had no answers. And again, something from within him surged and took over. Finally, he allowed me to lead him to the bench, and he sat on my lap. He was still having reverberations from the incident, like the aftershocks that follow an earthquake.
He then wept. And I prayed.
Within minutes, it was as if nothing had ever happened; he was ready to eat lunch and continue playing at the museum.
Here’s What I Don’t Know What caused Nasko to do this? Had Nasko witnessed another child being beaten in his orphanage and he instantly flashed back to a time and place where he thought he would be next? Did the woman, who was stern with her grandson, frighten him? Perhaps the woman remind him of Koka, an orphanage worker that tormented him in Bulgaria? Was it spiritual? Is my son battling things I know nothing of (Mark 9:14-29)?
Here’s What I Do Know When I prayed, Nasko was soon fine. As I asked Jesus to help my sweet boy and bring about healing, a calm came over him.
Nasko has come so far, but he also has so far to go. When Nasko first came home, he would escape through the back door often, barge in neighbor’s houses and steal food from my plate when I wasn’t looking. Today, he’s kissed his brother, played the piano, and taken a nap (thank you, sweet Jesus!). As for tomorrow, who knows. While much healing has come to Nasko’s mind, heart and body, there is much work that needs to be done, and it will be done, in Jesus’ name.