Cassie Shepherd

August 2, 2011

By Small & Simple Things

I'm officially off my summer vaca and back to work! It is good to be back with them. Yesterday, I sat on the couch and talked and cuddled with them for hours. As chaotic as it can get with them they are so precious. I truly missed them.

Their family has a grand piano. Yesterday, I was playing "I Am A Child of God" for them and I can't help but remember that when they get frustrating to work with. They have been such a blessing in my life - I'm sure I've written that at least a dozen times on here, but they just are. I don't know how else to say how much I love the family.

The girls are never frustrating because they have this terrible behavior or anything. It is rare that they upset me. Yes, sometimes I get annoyed because they ask SO many questions over and over, but I don't think I've ever actually lost my patience with them. It is more the frustration of not being able to do more for them. Especially the oldest. We are doing a dramatic play time right now. (We've got a nice schedule to keep us busy for the ten hours that I am there.) This week we are making an ice cream parlor. To inspire their young minds I took them to three ice cream shops today. Lets just say, it was like a slap in the face remind me who I'm working with.

The two youngest girls will be 9 and 10 this year. Remember the oldest is 11. The first parlor we went to was kind of like a coffee shop too, but I thought it would still spark some creativity. For those who know Savannah- it is Tradewinds. To my surprise, which looking back I should not have been, the oldest couldn't identify what we would need. She had her clip board and paper ready to go, but she just sat there. I prompted some questions like, "What are we going to need to put the ice cream in?" and "Is there a certain theme or are there specific colors in here?" She always answered my questions right away, but she couldn't come up with anything on her own except for ice cream, spoons, and toppings.

The youngest also had a difficult time. She copied the large menu signs onto her "brainstorming" list, but that was about as far as she got until I started to question her. Finally it clicked and her imagination kicked off. The middle child did well. She was about average in her creativity and imagination.

When we got to the second store, Menchies, the oldest actually identified one thing by herself and that was that it was self serving in this parlor. I thought that was great. I am sure hoping that this kind of activity will help her learn how to imagine. Today I learned to start questioning her where ever we are so she becomes more aware of her surroundings. Not in a threatening way, just something like, "Tell me about the store we are in." I am also making a conscious effort not to ask two questions in a row. It is sometimes out of bad habit we do that and I honestly think it is too much for her to process.

Can you imagine a lifestyle where you couldn't imagine though? Where you were so haunted by your past that you couldn't move forward? She lives like that. She lives in another reality.

It breaks my heart because I feel I need to do more. Mitch has to remind me there is only so much before physiologically we can't understand her. Her fine motor skills can be controlled, yet if she isn't concentrating specifically on writing really neat or following the line to cut she is all over the place.

I hope as I am back in school that this will help lead me down a path where I can help more. Not only in this family, but in many more to come. I finished my Adult Development and Aging course last week. My finance class should be done by the time I start the fall semester. I am excited to learn and excited to move forward toward a career and goal that I love.

Above all, I know the experiences that I am having is preparing me for our children to come. I also am confident that Heavenly Father is preparing them for the trials that lay ahead of them. Sometimes the girl's parents and I talk about what a scary place we live in. Christianity is falling apart on so many levels and it is hard to imagine bringing souls here and being responsible for them!

Aside from remembering that these girls are Heavenly Father's children the scripture found in Alma 37:6 also helps keep things in perspective for me. The scripture reminds me that our every day actions matter, that we are watched more than we realize, and even when we don't feel we are making progress forward - we are. It speaks truth in all trials and learning experiences.

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

Though small now, one day, all three of these girls will do great things. The awful things they endured in the early years of their lives will make them stronger. I have faith they'll rise above their challenges and continue to influence so many people around them.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that you see them as a blessing in your life and you certainly seem like one to them. How great that you don't just see it as a job and do as little as possible to get through it. I'm sure you will be an awesome mom someday.