This past April Rhema had a birthday party. On many of the cards she received, kids from her class had written their names or “Happy Birthday” or some other brief note. As I went through the cards, I felt a growing panic. Rhema can’t write her name. She cannot even imitate a stroke or hold a pencil properly. Oh no. Will she ever learn? Will she ever learn to read and write?? I had forgotten to worry about this.

These are the kind of thoughts in which a friend of mine raises her hand (as in a Diana Ross & the Supremes Stop-in-the-Name-of-Love gesture) and quips, “Not helpful.” In other words, “Don’t dwell on the future in which you have no control. Just trust God, girl!”

Still learning that this is not a race, and I don’t have to play “catch-up.” That I can be truly thankful and cherish every little, precious step forward.

Rhema “scribbles.” Sometimes as she scribbles, I hear her mimicking, “DawALine, DawALine.” She has heard the phrase “Draw a Line” from her OT so many times that she associates it with any sort of coloring – she could be making circles or squigglies or zig-zags. It’s all “DawALine.”

Last week Rhema’s school sent me the laminated picture above. The back of the picture is labeled,

Pre-Writing. 11/08.

It made me feel all weepy.

It’s a tiny step, but she’s on her way, y’all.

How do I begin to thank the wonderful individuals who work with my little one day in and day out? They teach her, and take care of her, and guide her with loving patience. I am indebted for life. If anyone has figured out how to thank these angels, please let me know.

The way B (Rhema’s teacher) is holding her arm up in the picture reminds me of an Old Testament story in which the people of Israel were in a fierce battle. Moses watched the battle from a hilltop, and whenever his arms were raised, the Israelites were winning. Whenever he lowered his arms, the Amalekites prevailed. The passage says, “When Moses’ hands grew tired… Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (Ex 17:12) And the Israelites won the battle.

Thank you to all of the Aaron’s and Hur’s in our life for “holding up our arms”. You are the teachers, therapists, family and friends who continue to come alongside and hold up our arms when we get tired and discouraged in the midst of the battle. With the blessing of your love, your prayers, your encouragement, your commitment to our family…

we have already won.

Thank you, B.

11 thoughts on “Pre-Writing

  1. DawALine – that’s so sweet!

    I like that little easel-thingy they’ve got Rhema working with. Wonder if something like that would be a help to Joy. She too needs help to DawALine. It is not an activity toward which she gravitates.

    They’ll get there. With so many wonderful people holding up their arms!

  2. i am always at a loss as to how to properly thank the angels in our lives. every christmas, every ‘end of year’ i agonize over it. may i suggest showing them this post. it’s a really good start. 😉

  3. Oh, Jeneil, what a wonderful analogy! My spirit just tingled all over when I read it! (And I had to laugh at your line: “I had forgotten to worry about this!”)

    Oh, how I utter a praise of thanksgiving for all the Aarons and Hurs in the world… those faithful folks who work quietly and humbly behind the scenes, receiving little earthly recognition or glory for their effort, but racking up a storehouse of heavenly treasure! 🙂

  4. As always, I loved this post and your analogy.

    Congrats to Rhema and her teachers for the prewriting success.

    And I can’t tell you how much I needed to read “Don’t dwell on the future in which you have no control. Just trust God, girl!” this morning.

  5. I can relate on this one too. Josiah could pretty much care less about crayons and markers, but in his Create class at school, his therapist said he spontaneously picked up a glue stick and started scribbling a little bit. Well, that’s progress. Great to hear your little lady is on her way. I agree, the therapists are complete and utter angels and I don’t know what we’d do without them. No trinket for Christmas seems worthy. I try to thank them in little surprise ways at times they wouldn’t expect it, but Christmas is brutal. If anybody has an idea, I’d love to know. Bless you, and way to go sweet Rhema!

  6. I haven’t figured out the answer about how to thank these angels, but this is some of the stuff I’ve done:

    1. I take the time (I know it’s scarce!) to write a letter of praise to the school or agency they work for, so it goes in their professional file. God knows they don’t earn enough for what they do. Maybe this will help them land a better paying position down the road (or survive any lay-offs in this economy).

    2. I write them a really heartfelt letter of thanks designed to make them cry. I don’t stop at the “There are no words to thank you…” part. I find the words to make them know just how special they are and how they saved my son.

    3. I give them gifts or do special things that are unique to them. For example: One special former therapist (who is now a friend) is a mom of 3 little ones and she doesn’t cook well, but loves my cooking. I’ll make her a meal for her family. Or find out what they like and get an appropriate gift card, not just what you think they like.

    4. I never let them out of my life. They stay friends and become part of our family. Each summer I have a BBQ and invite all the prior therapists, teachers, and aides. Its growing quite a bit, but its lots of fun.

    Just a few thoughts…

  7. hopeauthority,
    thank you for those wonderful suggestions. i particularly like #4. what a great idea – i’m sure it’s nice for former therapists and teachers to see your son and how he has grown.

  8. Finally getting caught up reading blogs….yeah, Kayla hates writing, coloring, etc, too. They use a slant board at school for her also. I need to follow up at home, but she just throws writing utensils at me!

  9. Rejoicing with you over Rhema’s pre-writing skills!!!

    I love Stormie Omartian’s book, “Just Enough Light For the Step I Am On” The title is what really caught my attention. We truly don’t have to worry about the future. We just have to be faithfully taking each step as He illuminates it before us. Praise God for the Aarons and Hurs of the world – reminds us all to take those moments to be the Aaron and Hur when God prompts us to be!

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