Monday, February 27, 2012

Change of plans.

I started this post this morning. I was prepared to wax poetic about friends again after reading this beautiful post about friendship. Ann's post struck a chord. I have lost friends due to my inability to return phone calls, emails and just flat out juggle nurturing relationships amid seasons of NICU stays, surgeries, and just life. I am not proud. I love what Ann has to say about being like David and Jonathan. And oh, I desire to do just that. Will you please go read the beautiful post she wrote? And will you commit with me to prioritize our friendships? 

But today, my boys taught a group of eduction majors at Arizona State University -- for the fifth semester in a row! As I sat and listened to my 14-year-olds teach and encourage our future educators, I was moved as usual. And I feel compelled to share one of the stories, Mason shared -- completely interrupting my planned post!

Professors Mason and Benjamin

One of the students asked the boys about their interactions with their peers in public school.  The boys candidly discussed how their friends were always the best kids in school. "Because those are the people willing to take the time and make the extra effort to see past the crutches, and wheelchair," Benjamin explained.

But then Mason went on to share a story that hurts my heart.

One day in fifth grade, he was walking to the elevator. Two older boys (8th graders) were horsing around in the hall and one of them tripped him, causing him to fall. The other one yelled, "Look what you did now, you knocked the retard down."

Mason wasn't hurt.

Not even a scratch.

But there are scars nonetheless.

On campus beautiful blessings.

Words hurt. Whoever said "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" was just flat out wrong. Horribly wrong. Words do hurt. Words scar. Words have lingering effects.

For Mason, those words drive him. He excels in school -- his As serving to prove to someone that the 8th grade bully was wrong.

He aspires to goals that others may say are not possible with his physical limitations. My money is on Mason -- he is determined, disciplined and driven. He will succeed in whatever he believes God calling him to do. In spite of his limitations.

But always, there is an undertone to his work, his drive. An undertone of a word thrown at him when he was 10 and remaining with him today. 

There are scars.

Today, the boys spent their morning working to change that. They encouraged our future teachers to be aware of the challenges facing students with special needs beyond just the academic challenges. They urged them to build classrooms of acceptance, free of bullies and safe from words that wound.

I really could not be more proud. The ability to articulate and verbalize the struggles and the victories even as they navigate their high school years and sort through the struggles and victories I am as always....a very blessed Mama!


AZ Chapman said...

hi nice to meet you I am here from CP connection I have CP and am 20. It is vary mild and affects my hands and mouth.

i am really saddend by Mason's story, I was bullied badly in middle school as well