Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lessons Learned from a Little Boy in a Body Cast


We got to spend last weekend with our grandson Soren. His last weekend, as it turned out, in his spica cast. (See earlier blog “Hi, Mommy, I’m Just Relaxing” for background.) More on his wonderful new freedom in a minute.

But first, before I lose them, a few lessons I learned (or relearned) from Soren—and his parents—last weekend. I’m going to try to put them in bullet form. Which may prove to be an impossible task, given that each one is material for an entire blog—or perhaps a Mom to Mom session!
  • First, our total dependence on God. Soren had to be carried everywhere. Kind of the way God carries us (See Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 1:31 for two of many Biblical allusions to this.) What a picture of parental/Parental love!
  • The absolute necessity of trust. Once when Soren was fearful in the bathtub (yes, he had an immersible cast—a great blessing but no small task in the tub each night) due to his loss of control, Abby asked him what he was afraid of, then reminded him how firmly she was holding him and asked him what a certain character in one of his Bible DVD’s does when he’s afraid. “Pray to God,” Soren said. “Can you do that, Soren?” “Yes.” “And does that make you feel better?” “Yes.” Can you do that, Linda?
  • “Nana, will you sit next to me?” Soren’s most frequently asked question made me think how basic a need this is for all of us—someone to “sit next” to us. It’s what the moms you know—in your MTM group. your play group, your neighborhood are all asking, isn’t it?
  • “Nana, will you play with me?” This was Soren’s second most common request while he was sitting in his chair at the table specially designed for kids in spica casts. Of course you can imagine how much fun this Nana had playing with him. But it made me think: Isn’t this also what people all around us are looking for? No matter how “busy” we may all look, it’s easy to be lonely in a crowd. We all need someone to sit next to, someone to play with. Thanks for reminding me, Soren.
  • Kids tend to treat others the way they are treated. Soren has always been a child quick to ask, if there’s the slightest question in his mind, “Nana, are you OK?” But last weekend I watched his delightful interaction with his puppets Mouse, Rabbit and Bear—Mouse being the hands-down favorite. When Mouse suggested that he might be tired and need a nap soon (Nana preparing for nap time coming up), Soren immediately responded, “Mouse, you lie down and I’ll rub your back so you can go to sleep.” Hmmm . . . can’t help but wonder how many nights his mommy or daddy had done that for him.
  • Kids take in a whole lot more than we realize. Sitting at the back of the church service since he couldn’t go into the nursery in his cast, Soren wanted to sit next to me during the sermon. To my surprise, he was listening better than I was! While I was concentrating on holding him close enough that he wouldn’t fall off the chair in his cast, he apparently was listening to the sermon while eating his snack. “Nana,” he nudged me, ”the Pastor said ‘John the Baptist.’ I have him in my Bible matching cards.” Think your kids aren’t listening to your conversation? Think again!
  • Even two-year-olds can pray. When asked what he wanted to thank God for at each meal, Soren had some hilarious answers—whatever was before him at the moment. (Sometimes it was Nana and Farfar—what grandparents don’t love that!) But he faithfully remembered to either ask God for healing or thank him for “my leg getting better.” How thankful we all are for God’s answer to those prayers!
Which leads me to the great good news that Soren’s cast is now off! His leg has healed enough that the cast could come off, praise God. The cast is history. But the story is not yet over. Soren has to learn to walk again. His body has to relearn muscle memory and his leg has to build up strength. And this, we’re told, will take time. More lessons ahead . . . We’re listening and watching, Soren.

Don’t we always learn the most from our children?