Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Guard...

What I've learned about Caleb, is that he requires a lot more energy/attention/preparation than many children. He's not the sort of boy you can just drop off at a sports practice, and then plop down on a bleacher with the latest People magazine and a diet coke. No, Caleb requires the two P's: 1) preparation, and 2) prayer. Both of which I did plenty of this week.

To prepare for fencing class, I drew pictures of everything that happened during a typical class (straight down to us walking through the parking lot). I wrote captions under the pictures, and then Caleb and I went over the drawings several times. Even right before we left, I "explained" to Caleb's brothers how fencing class works (conveniently within Caleb's earshot).

Then, I loaded Caleb into the van and prayed all the way over to class. I kept chanting, "Just let him complete the class without problem." Then, I pleaded, "Give me wisdom and strength."

When we entered the class, Caleb willingly picked up his equipment. He stepped onto the court without a fuss. That's when I knew I could do one more thing to encourage his success. I picked out other students that I thought could be his friends (or at least help him in the class), and I made introductions. We first met Chris, a fourth grader. Chris had a quirky side (referring to himself as a salmon and his opponent as the bear), but he seemed happy to make Caleb's acquaintance. Then, we talked to Alex, also a fourth grader. Alex appeared to be a beginner too, and happy to hang out with other novices.

Caleb and I successfully completed the hour long class, and even learned a thing of two (one or two parry positions!). Most of all, I was so proud of Caleb. He even seemed pleased at his progress and behavior. It made me realize Caleb is capable of so much if we just help him in the ways he needs.

Tonight, I'm so grateful for a successful class.

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