Friday, April 06, 2007

This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Darlene Schacht, author of The Mom Complex

Like every mother I have certain things that I feel the need to instill in my kids. Compassion, understanding, love for others. As I try to lead by example I will pray that my efforts are not in vain. After all, we are in a small town in Wisconsin. That doesn't naturally lend itself to diversity.

I did not grow up in a small town, but I did grow up with diversity. In fact, my parents tried to explain prejudicism to me, but I honestly thought that in today's world it didn't exist anymore. I was not aware of any honest prejudicism until I was 15 and moved to Wisconsin. Then someone said something around me about "those people" and used a term. I was SHOCKED! Not only was this person serious, but I was also related to them. A true wake up call.

When new people would come into their lives they would accept them, no matter what they looked like. The interaction has been limited but I have not seen fear, judgement, or shyness. Just an attitude of there is someone new.

Until Micah.

Micah was three or four when he first came to the church and into our lives. Micah is a sweet boy that has cerebral palsy. Here was this kid in a wheelchair that didn't talk. His parents accompanied him to every class. And he cried, a lot. To be honest, my kids were nervous. This was new.

We did our best to explain that even though Micah may not be able to run, play, and talk like everyone else, we know that Jesus loves him and we know that we need to show the love of Jesus to him. I noticed for the most part the kids, all the kids at church, just ignored him. They didn't know how to include him, but they really didn't want to leave him out so they silently accepted him into the group but rarely actively made him a part.

There is a group of us mom's who now help Micah during children's church so that his parents can be in the adult worship. When I first started helping I couldn't help but to hold his hand, rub his arm, and even take him out and sit him on my lap during class. This made my son curious and sat there holding his hand. My heart swelled. He knew then that Micah was just another kid.

Soon, J-Birds Sunday school teacher, Micah's mom told me how cute J-Bird was in class. He would purposefully sit by Micah, trying to hold his hand. To be his friend. A lesson I am glad my son was able to pick up on early in life.


melody said...

I love the stories in life that tell of children reaching out to other children.

Two of my sons have "hidden" disabilities (you don't see them from their bodily appearance), but Wil has cerebral palsy. Thank God he walks and runs and plays, but yet is clearly "different" when you see him, listen to him. I love moms such as yourself who instill in their children understanding, compassion and acceptance of matter what their appearance or abilities. Thank you.

Darlene said...

Wow, you are mirroring the love of Jesus in your child's life. That is awesome. You've given so much.