“You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love His children – with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreakable, Always and Forever Love.”
~The Jesus Storybook Bible
Thank you so much for praying.
Over the past few days the incredible teachers at Rhema’s school have implemented three different treatments to address her grabbing behaviors.
One involves a pillow.
Often when one of her teachers comes to greet her at the start of the day, Rhema grabs her by the collar and pulls hard. It takes the two of us to pry her off. And then she usually turns and grabs me by the collar or the hair and we repeat the un-prying process again.
Yesterday her speech therapist met us at the door and offered a pillow to Rhema. Rhema seemed confused at first, Pillows are beds and for sleeping on, people! Then she hugged it and happily buried her face in it. She tilted her head and laid it on the pillow. And off she went that way. So easy, so smooth. As she went, I knew that friends had prayed for her, and instead of fighting she looked like she was… resting.
Perhaps the pillow is/will meet a sensory need, giving her something to grab and hold on to during transitions. (?)
My friend Cathy commented yesterday:
‘And prayers as well for those who have been harmed, hurt or startled by our children and continue to be calm, patient and loving with them.’
This is the very thing that has blessed me so much as we’ve been dealing with the troubling behaviors. Numerous times Rhema has lunged for a teacher’s throat or even (unintentionally) ripped a shirt, seemingly out of the blue. Even knowing there’s the potential for harm, her teachers always approach her lovingly, patiently, completely. Every day. The battles of the day before, or even the hour before, already forgiven.
It’s no different with Hope. She has been subject to many hair-pulling attacks – in the car, at the dinner table, in the playroom at home. After an episode, I often encourage Hope to give Rhema some space. She waits for a little while. Never timid or afraid, she goes to Rhema with arms stretched wide. She exclaims like a long-lost great aunt, “Give your sister a hug!”
I’m her mother. I’ll always stay no matter how fast the tide changes. I’ll come close to her with all my love, my heart laid bare. But her teachers, her babysitter, even Hope – they are not bound to her the way I am. And yet they floor me with their care for her, the way they give of themselves for her. (Thank you, thank you.)
I see the parallel. (Ha. You know I do). How He bears all our marks – every grief and every sorrow. How we can scratch and claw and grab and pull and hurt. And all the while He is loving us, pursuing us. HOPE coming for us with arms wide open.