Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthday Fun

Actually it did not start out as fun.  I struggle with finding the balance between teaching him what age appropriate behavior is and allowing him the freedom to be the 6 year old he probably is.  It's a big problem I have.

The things his brothers liked at 12 were not the things that Jared wanted and when he didn't get his LEGO Ninjago toys, he couldn't hide his complete and total disappointment in his mother.  I am not one to cave in on a good day, but we went to Walmart and got the Ninjago and the birthday boy was smiling again.

This morning we went to the pool and Jared spent his time on the water slides and wave pool.  It was all good.  The birthday lasted longer than the appointed day, but was okay.  Jared got to do what he had been asking for all week......and he had his Ninjago.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Print You Leave Behind

Often we never know what kind of impact we have on others.  Those moments usually fade away with little thought on our part.  Sometimes those same moments make an impression on someone we may or may not know.

A young boy stood before a gathering of boys and men and shared a small part of himself, just because he felt like he should.  A young man in the crowd heard, felt, and was touched.  He happened to share that experience in a ward Sunday meeting.  It was that moment that had the most impact on him through a week of activities.  Someone in that meeting was a friend of my parents.

We seldom realize the extent of our reach.  We think what we say and do is of no consequence to others.  Well, it is of great consequence.

We just never know.........

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Public Speaking

I posted this on my other blog a few days ago.  I thought I should add it here.  Camp was awesome for Jared and thanks to Sean going with him, it was a great success.  I am always amazed by what challenges Jared and what comes easy to him.  Apparently, 3200 boys and men in an audience is not a deterrence.  Go figure.

One of the great things about the camp were the guest speakers in the evening.  There were Young Men's Presidents and former NFL players.  Not your boring ward level stuff.  No.  Bigger.

On the last evening of the camp President Beck, the Young Men's President over the whole entire church came and froze with the rest of the gang.  Now from here I am relaying the account from what Sean and the boys have told me.  They are certainly free to correct me, but here is as close as I can get........

My understanding is that Pres. Beck spoke about being missionaries or becoming missionaries.  Some time during his talk, Jared decided that he needed to go to the bathroom, which Sean let him do.  As Jared made his way to the aisle, he let EVERYONE know where he was going.  During this time it seems Pres. Beck asked for a handful of boys to come up and share what they felt they could do to be or become good missionaries.  I don't think Jared heard any of this.

The port-a-potties were located behind the stage and big TV's so he was walking towards the front.  Suddenly, Sean realized that Jared never made it to the potties......he was in line to get on stage!!!  As Jordan and James realized this too, I think there was a sense of panic.  Should one of them get him?  Did Jared know he was NOT in the potty line up?  Did he know why there were boys lined up to go on stage?  What was he going to say?  There are approximately 3200 men and boys in the audience.  What if he froze?  Yes.  Mild panic.

After the first couple of boys went up and spoke, Sean decided the Jared couldn't do worse so he sat back to watch the outcome.

Jared stood there in front of those 3200 men and boys and said that challenges are hard.  He had two - autism and ADHD.  Sometimes people were annoyed by him and that was okay.  Having his challenges made things hard for him, but Jared said he knows that he should never quit or give up and that he needs listen to the spirit.  Then he kept trying to talk and Pres. Beck did a good job trying to end the speech and move on.

Jared can repel, climb walls, hike long distances, and speak in front of 3200.  The best part for Jared was the fist bumping from other boys all the way back to his seat.  I don`t know if he ever made it to the bathroom.

This is a photo from my friend Karri.  Thank you so much for the visual of such a great experience.  I wish I had been there to witness it myself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Nice Story to Share

My aunt sent this to me.  I thought it was a nice story.  This is for the parents of anyone who struggles with disabilities or who, for what ever reason, are often on the outside looking in.  

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.
"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by the grace Of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.