Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Primary Program

This last Sunday was our Primary Program. In our church the kids go to separate classes for the second and third hour. This is all the kids ages 3-12. Every year they put on a big program during sacrament meeting where they sing songs and give talks that they have been working on all year. It is always the highlight of my year and I so look forward to it. This is even before I had kids. Now that I have kids actually participating, I love it even more.

This week's was a bit tough for me.

Evan did a wonderful job. He was reverent and sang and smiled and then he gave a talk that he wrote himself. It was about why he loves the Savior. He said he loves Him because He died for us so that we can repent. It was very sweet and tender hearted. I love watching him do things like that.

Griffin was a challenge. Going in we knew that he was going to have some issues. We had prepared him in the weeks previous as they practiced. It was a new setting for him with a new schedule. This makes everything a little scary and he acts out. His "acting out" is in the form of spinning around, crawling on and under seats, making loud and strange noises, etc...Not too terrible, but not great either. In the last practice Ryan had to go up and sit with him to help him control himself.

On the way to church we talked about how it was going to be different and we went over his part again and again. I thought maybe he would pull it off. What I didn't think about was how difficult it would be for me to watch him implode.

I watch him up on the stand, knowing that he is uncomfortable. That he is in over his head and he doesn't know how to react. It is simply too much for him. We tried it without Ryan for the first 5 min or so but soon enough we realized that Ryan needed to go up. What others might see as a boy misbehaving I know is a boy who has no idea how to handle a situation that is uncomfortable at best and scary at worst. I couldn't help but cry as I watched him struggle. I felt fairly helpless. Finally it was too much and Ryan brought him out to the foyer. He cried and cried and cried. It made me so sad because here is a boy who so badly wanted to succeed. To sit with his friends and sing songs, but he doesn't have the skills to accomplish this, even when he wants it so badly.

So I watched the rest of the program, holding Hallie on my lap, with tears in my eyes. So happy the Evan was a success and hurting so badly for Griffin.

I know it is a simple thing. In the grand scheme of things, it is just a primary program. But it was one of those times when I was hit by the stark reality of his disability. Oh, how I love him. I want the world for this child and I will move mountains to see that he accomplishes all he sets out to do. I know he can do it, whatever it may be.


Leslie said...

what a great mom you are to have faith in him despite his challenges, ruth. he sounds like such an amazing boy. our stake primary has set up a group (yahoo group and quarterly get-together) for parents and leaders to discuss ways we can help kids with different challenges be successful in primary. it's been wonderful already, many eyes are being opened and ideas are flowing. i can give you the yahoo address if you'd like to listen in.

LymeRicky said...

Thanks for this post. My heart goes out to you as you face these challenges.

As the primary president for my ward, we have similar challenges with some children, and it didn't even occur to me to realize that maybe they have a physical reason that causes them to 'act out.' We try to stay patient, but for some reason, recognizing that a physical limitation may exist makes it so much easier to stay calm and try to help rather than getting frustrated. Does that make sense?

As a side note -- we have learned that our primary children often do better in those situations if they have something in their hand like the 'I Spy' bags. Then they are looking in their lap instead of up at the crowd. It really helps them to stay calm!

Hang in there!

Gramajanet said...

He can do it because of the wonderful parents that was given. You're the best. I love and miss you all.

SrStewart said...

I'm in love with Griffin. He is blessed with a creative and intuitive mind. He will succeed for many many reasons, including that he was sent to you and Ryan.

I'm not fat for my height. I'm short for my weight.