Posted by Adele on February 04, 2000 at 16:45:17:
In Reply to: Re: Another Ariel Update posted by Diana on February 04, 2000 at 16:22:23:
: God's Perfection.....By:Rabbi Paysach Krohn.
: In the competitive world of the 1990's, one wonders whether the old adage still holds true: "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game." The following true story illustrates the power of human concern - even in the face of intense competition.
: In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to Learning-disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be main-streamed into conventional Jewish schools. At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
: After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"
: The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father''s anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection He seeks is in the way people react to this child." He told the following story about his son Shaya.
: One afternoon Shaya and his father walked past a park where someboys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked. "Do you think they will let me play?" Shaya's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya's father understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya's father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his team-mates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."
: Shaya's father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and play center field. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya's team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
: Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However, as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya's team-mates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps closer to softly toss the ball toward Shaya. As the pitch came in Shaya and his team-mate swung the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field far beyond reach of the first baseman.
: Everyone started yelling, "Shaya, run to first. Run to first!" Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Shaya run home!"
: Shaya ran home, stepped on the home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grandslam" and won the game for his team. "That day," said the father softly with tears rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."
: **Here's hoping that many people in Ariel's life throw the ball to right field (so to speak) so that she rounds the bases time and time again throughout her precious life.
: Thanks to Rebecca and Kate for the things you are doing for Ariel and her parents, and to Rich and Elaine for allowing MohicanLand to "adopt" this precious little girl, Diana
Your story made me cry - literally! As a couple of you know, I am the mother of a four year old little angel called Connor - who has quite severe autism. My biggest fear as a parent is that I cannot protect my son from the rest of the world, and I will have to rely on the goodness in others hearts. I know that all parents feel this, but for me, it sometimes seems that the agony of knowing he will be misunderstood all his life, makes it worse.
What gives me hope and raises my spirits is the very thing that you described in this story - for me, it is the children at his (mainstream) nursery. They all can see that Connor is different, he has strange habits and cannot speak, he doesn't know how to interact with them and most of the time, he ignores them. But these marvellous, incredible little children keep chatting away to him, they try to show him their toys, they say hello and goodbye - and they just seem to accept the way that he is - without questioning. Those little kids just choke me up some days, I can tell you.
I read a lot of similar heartwarming tales such as this on the autism newsgroups to which I subscribe - but somehow, this one seems just that little bit closer to home. Thank you so much for posting it Diana - it really moved me.
I know a little of what Ariels parents must be going through, I have thought of them and Ariel often these last few months, and I figure that if they, like me, have a pocket of love and protection surrounding them - they can make it through just about everything.
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