Okay, so rememeber when I said I'd be sparatically posting?
Yeah, disregard that for this post.
Because first off, one of my best friend's mom told me she loved the blog and to update often.
I'm going to listen to her beause she's pretty awesome.
Oh, and I love the rest of you, too :)
Second of all, I went to sing at Marion D Crouse Instructional Center today.
I need to tell you about this.
Crouse is a special education school for the severely mentally impaired ages 3-26. (I believe.)
Today, my choir went to carol to different classrooms in small groups.
Now, I've been before and enjoyed it thoroughly, especially because I want to go into Special Ed.
Today, for some reason, I enjoyed it even more than last year.
People ask me why in the world I want to go into special ed.
That's not a simple answer.
Have you ever had those moments where you know God is calling you to do something?
Several times. I'm not sure I can name the very first time I felt called to this.
I think it might have been the first year that my favorite family came to VBS.
The family adopts kids with special needs - both mental and physical, both mild and severe. They came to VBS one year and I fell in love with all of them. It was weird for me to so easily step out of my comfort zone with them.
Then came Emma.
Emma is my friend Justin's little sister who has some mental disabilities. I couldn't tell you what they are; I've never asked. I really don't need to know the names. She is Emma, and that is that.
I first met Emma when she and her mom came to church to watch Justin play with us in Soul'd Out. At first, as is usual with Emma, she hid form me when I came to say hello. Slowly, though, ever so slowly, she learned my name, and she liked me. All of a sudden, I was helping Emma's mom out by playing with her at her house so her mom could work on things. That turned into me going this past October to a wedding with the entire family so I could be with Emma, and they could all relax. They all thanked me and were greatful I was there, but honestly, I was so excited to go! I love my Emma. You have no idea what it's like to hear her say "I love you, Megan" or watch her smile when she sees me. I can't describe the feeling when she learns something new or does something they never dreamed she'd be able to do.
Speaking of Emma, I saw her, her mom, and her brother at our Choir concert last night.
"Megan, guess what? I saw you, and you were singing to me!"
"Yes, I was, Emma! I found you and I was singing right to you! Did you hear me?"
I love Emma. I love her family. And I'm so blessed that they all love me back.
But, back to Crouse.
Today, I was given a 'switch' to have the kids press during certain songs. It had pre-recordes lyrics to 'Deck the Halls' and 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', so the kids could 'sing' along with us. In each room we sang in, I got to take the switch around and help them 'sing'. It was amazing. In one room (The younger aged group room we sang in) there were two little girls and a little boy that especially made my heart melt. (They all did, really, but read on...) Mercedes had just learned how to walk a few feet this week, and she showed off for all of us. She loved pressing the switch, and oh, did she smile when it was her turn! Then there was Madison (Maddie) who tried to eat my hand, but was actually just giving it a kiss. She fell in love with my friend's rainbow jingle bell bracelet. She liked holding our hands. LOVE. And then there was Aiden, who kept eating his shirt. One of the teachers asked him if it tasted good. He grunted a reply and we had one of those conversations like ("Grunt") "Oh, yeah, Aiden, I know what you mean..." My friend said, "Of course it tasted good, it's got spiderman on it!" and everone laughed.
I really just wanted to take them all home.
The kids, not my choir people.
Not that I wouldn't take my choir people home, too, haha.
The really awesome part of it, though, was seeing the instant love in all of my group members' eyes, and the obvious excitement all the kids were experiencing.
I was in my element. Elated.
So, why do I want to be a special education teacher?
I want them to know that they are loved. I want to help them grow as much as I can. I want to wait for those moments where we can celebrate the small victories - because even those are huge accomplishments.
It may be draining. It may not pay the best. (or the worst, though) It may not be easy everyday.
But it will be worth it.
Every smile, every excited noise, every accomplishment, every hug will make it worthwhile.
And once you fall in love with any number of children with these needs, there's no turning back.
They're like handprints on your heart. ♥
Okay, now how many of you did I make cry? ;)
In case I don't get to say it later, Merry Christmas. Let those less fortunate be in our thoughts and prayers this holiday. Let's not forget them.
Live each day like Emma, Maddie, Aiden and Mercedes - joyful for all the little things.
That is my prayer for us this season.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.’