Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just wishing

Every week during our Wednesday night church service, the pastor (who is also David's uncle) calls the children to the front of the sanctuary. He gives them each a piece of candy for coming to church (he knows the way to my kids' heart!) and then asks them Bible trivia questions. If they are the first to answer correctly they get more candy or sometimes a dollar.

The pastor will call on the person who had his/her hand up first, but because has has the heart of teddy bear, he always asks, "Who else knew that?" He gives an extra piece of candy to those who say they knew.

Lauren, who is not an idiot, has figured this out and raises her hand instantly after the question is answered and says, "I knew that!" She gets a lot of candy.

Joshua has been the one to answer correctly once or twice, but more often he, too, gets the "I knew it, too" reward. These usually go to the kids who, like Josh and Lauren, get their hands up within a second or two of the first person. Not only that, but when the pastor asks who else knew, they have to get it up again pretty quickly. Josh and Lauren are good at that.

Ethan, on the other hand, has never gotten a second piece of candy. Ever.

He is extremely intelligent. In fact, I suspect he may be the most smartest of all my children . . . don't tell the others I said so.

But he is not fast. He never has been. He takes a long time to process information, and I often have to remind myself to be patient while he processes my question or my instruction. He takes forever to tell a story because he speaks slowly. He is the last to finish his cake at every birthday party, including all of his own. He takes longer to put on his socks than Josh takes to get dressed, use the bathroom, and brush his teeth.

He is smart; he is just not quick.

So tonight he came back to our pew frustrated and struggling not to cry. He said, "Mom, I never get a second piece, and Lauren got four!" "I know," I whispered, "You just have to get your hand up faster." "I try, but there's always a ton of people with their hands up first," he lamented.

I wish there was something I could tell him that would make it better, but it is just a fact of his life that he is not fast. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and there will always be things at which we don't excel or even succeed. I also know that one day he will struggle and fight for things of much greater significance than a Hershey's miniature.

Today it's just a piece of candy, but I hate it for him.

I realize it's not a big deal, but I want to fix it. I want to hold practice drills after school to train him to get his hand up faster. I want to tell the pastor to change the way he does the questions so that the kids who aren't so fast will have a chance. I want to go up with him and jerk his hand into the air so fast the other kids won't even see it happen. I want all the other kids to come down with a sudden inexplicable illness that causes them not to be able to lift their hands.

Okay, maybe not that last one, but what I really want is just to make the whole world look out for and accommodate this precious little person so that he never feels bad about himself. Ever.

I know it won't happen, but what kind of momma would I be if I didn't wish?


Deborah said...

Ah, you made me tear up! Isn't it what every mother protect her children and never seem them hurt. Im right there with you Becky!

CDD in CA said...

Your Ethan is so precious and sensitive Becky. I can see that you encourage him and that you don't tell him that he is slow because he would take it to heart and be fearful to try being faster. You are a wonderful mom. I'm praying for Ethan especially for courage and quickness.