Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Special Education

This past week, Reed had his evaluation to qualify him to continue in his speech therapy program. He has made major progress and will continue with the preschool program next year to continue improving. While waiting for the teacher outside of the school, I caught a glimpse of one of the special ed classes during recess or PE. (I really couldn't tell which.) Either way it was a group of kids all shapes and sizes, but clearly special needs. They were running a "lap" around the outer berm of the playground. As they were getting closer to the school, I noticed as one after another linked hands forming a chain of sorts. Some were pulling others along, but slowing so all could link up and finish the run together. It was a sweet moment when you realize that those spirits in their less than functional bodies, had to something special. (And not just "special" in the generic sense used as a PC label.) They were caring, aware of others around them, not worried about finishing first, just finishing together. I was witness to a mini Special Olympics of sorts. I could almost see a "hugger" at the end of their lap waiting for them all to finish. And this is where I got to tearing up.... After a relentless week of struggles and trials, disappointments, pain and Murphy's Law moments, all I could think was that I need a Special Olympics hugger for me. We may not be burdened with physical differences or mental deficiencies, but more and more I see myself and others burdened with emotional deficiencies, stress and exhaustion from the burdens of everyday life. We may not be considered "retarded" or "special" in the worldly sense but all of us need a "hugger". All of us need to feel the hand of those running this lap with us in ours, encouraging us to the end. Too often we are worried about being first or having the persona of a winner. In reality, we can take a page from these sweet spirits and from the Special Olympics. In the end, as we finish together, we are all winners. So grab the hand of the person behind you and allow the person ahead to grab your hand. Cause we are in this together and we are have our little defects that make these current "laps" difficult. If ya need a "hugger", Im here for ya. Ill tell ya you're doing a great job and that we can do it together. Just promise me you will do the same!

Friday, February 25, 2011


As most of my Friday nights go, I spent it cuddling with my baby boy. We watched some Veggie Tales. (I know, we're a wild crew on the weekends.) Reed chose one of my favorites, The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's. Its basically a mesh of the Prodigals Son with a Wizard of Oz flair. Everytime I watch this the end brings me to tears. (Not because of the seriousness of the story... Anyone familiar with my veggie friends, knows while nothing seems to be sacred, sacred things seem to be taught... and actually stick.) I get all weapy because of the song at the end. And while I did actually look up the writer of the song, I didnt write it down. So Mr. Songwriter, wherever you are, forgive me for not giving you your proper dues. Maybe later I'll look it up again and edit this one. Anyway, the song goes (or at least the chorus):

I love you today and I love you tomorrow,
I love you as deep as the sea,
I love you in joy and I love you in sorrow,
You can always come home to me.

Every time I've watched this I have kinda taken the perspective of being the prodigal. Heaven knows I've made my share of severely bad choices and have literally returned home with my tail between my legs begging for forgiveness and help. As a parent, I can even understand the reality of unconditional love and think I would celebrate just as much as the prodigal's father. But tonight was different.

This time, all I could think of was the "other son". The one that had done everything he should. The one that felt the envy and most likely the pain of his father immediately throwing a celebration for the return of his son. I think while a lot of us, (read ME), find ourselves relating to the prodigal and thankful for the love shown to us when we need forgiveness, we are more often put into the position of the "other son".

It seems the lost lesson of the Prodigal Son is the brother's reaction and how often our reaction seems to mirror it. Whether a literal sibling or just a connection of being another Child of God, its so easy to look on, thinking, "they dont deserve forgiveness, let alone a celebration." I think too many of us try to rate our sins on a continuum. "This" isn't as a bad as "that". But the reality is we must be perfect to be with God again, therefore, all must embrace the gift of the Atonement. All of us have sins against us. And for those who still like rate severity of sins to compare each other and think yours are more tolerable and more forgivable, the Lord says: thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (Luke 15:31). Just like any family, adding another doesn't lessen the love available. All that He has is ours and all the better as more children are able to come HOME.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How Incredible

Just thought I should share a little gem I found this weekend. Reed has been on an Incredibles kick. I've never been much of a fan, but after multiple viewing lately, I had a little a-ha moment. So without getting into a huge sum up of the movie but prefacing this a bit to make sense, you got a family of super heroes. The teenage daughter is still unsure of her powers and what she is capable of. When faced with the first big demand of her powers, she fails. Even more discouraged and unsure, her mom gives her the pep talk I think we all need to hear.

Things are different now. And doubt's a luxury we can't afford anymore. You have more power than you realize. Don't think and don't worry. If the time comes, you'll know what to do. It's in your blood.

So I'm not coming out of superhero hiding or anything. I'm just thinking we are much like Violet: unsure of our abilities, daunted by the tasks in front of us, wishing we could just disappear into the background at times. But it is in our very nature to be more this and our talents our individual skills are much needed in this world today. And maybe, just maybe I'm not the only one that needed the pep talk too.