sit still, please

Yep, I think in metaphors, and one of them struck me this afternoon.

I work in a special ed. class, and today, as usual in my job, I left work thinking about these kids and how they are just little 5 year-old reminders of our own selves and our own needs. They are unpolluted and inexperienced, so their personalities are generally pure. Let me give you just one little example.

One little boy has a real struggle sitting still on the carpet. He constantly takes off and puts back on his shoes. He goes up on his knees, zips and unzips his jacket, and talks out here and there. Cute as a bug, but as jittery as one too. Today we had our occupational therapist come in to work with the kids, and while she was there she introduced the idea of placing a large beanbag on this little one's lap. The weight of the beanbag would literally ground him and give him a reason to be still, and hopefully that would lead to better concentration and more cognitive involvement. He fought against the idea at first, even scooting over to me to tell me how scary the beanbag was. But after warming up to the idea he settled in and actually ended up enjoying draping it across his lap. As we were loading the kids on the bus a couple of hours later he told me he would miss his beanbag. Very sweet.

How many times have I felt resistant to something that was going to have a grounding effect on me? How often do we define being free as meaning no ties, no expectations, no stillness? What is my beanbag? I know that being responsible for my children, being committed to my marriage, having church responsibilities, and even the things I consider personal indulgences (reading, blogging, etc) all ground me. We can begin to enjoy the things that, maybe at an earlier point, seemed like obligations. I actually WANT to be weighted down with many good things, and I see now, at the stage I am in in my life, that they have helped me reach a good place.


Juliana | October 23, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Love it. Thanks for this post.

Margy | October 23, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I love your metaphors! And this is a particularly good one for me today--all I want to do is run away. But I know that's not what I need.

Anonymous | October 23, 2008 at 7:23 PM

wonderful metaphor. I am very thankful for the things that ground me, even though they do seem like a burden sometimes.

Luann | October 23, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Well said, my friend.

Little GrumpyAngel | October 24, 2008 at 1:19 AM

Right on. There've been times in my life when I am a little resentful of things and people that I feel anchor me and "prevent" me from being free to do as I please. But in moments of clarity I realize I am blessed to be anchored to things/people who bring me true joy.

Connie | October 24, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Such a great metaphor! I have felt anchored, or maybe it's chained, to the steam juicer as I juice 7 five gallon buckets of concord grapes! It's time for me to look at it differently and be happy I have the grapes and the juicer and the propane for the camp stove because I have only one big burner on my stove. Now if I can just find some bottles in the stores...sigh. Thanks, Karen, for your blog and your insight.

Heidi | October 24, 2008 at 1:05 PM

You think such awesome deep thoughts! My Big Guy had a weighted vest when he was younger that they put on him at school. They said he seemed to like it. Meanwhile, this kid must be OCD. If he isn't taking meds for it, he needs to be but I know you can't say or suggest anything like that. Another thing--my guy had to move in order to process info. If he was sitting still, nothing was sinking in. This kid might be the same--having something to fiddle with is a great idea, too. He can bend it, move it, whatever, but he will be listening at the same time. My guy draws pictures during church. Some people only can learn through movement. It sure is hard on them but knowing your style of learning is half the battle.