Monday, July 30, 2012

Shortest Calling... Ever

Three weeks ago, Matt and I were called into the Bishop's office and I was offered a new calling. This calling is Helper in the Primary. I would be responsible for helping a 6 year old autistic boy in the ward during church so that his parent's could attend classes.

Along with this calling, Matt would be released from the Primary because we have Dan who is too young to go to the nursery and someone has to watch him and I couldn't do it in this calling.

I had great anxiety over this calling. I was reluctant to accept it because I know that autistic kids can get very physical and they are difficult to handle. It is no secret (to my blog readers) that I also have problems with little boys. It isn't that I don't like them, it is that I don't handle them that well. They are dirty and wild and I just don't understand them.

But, I was promised that if I accepted this calling, my family would be blessed for it. So, I accepted... and dreaded.

My first week, Matt had just started his new job, and was not used to his new schedule and needed to sleep that Sunday. So, I left Dan with him at home and went to church alone with Cole.

It was very difficult. Not only is this little boy not able to concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds, but he is fast, he is loud, and he is strong. His parent's had encouraged me to take him on walks around the building during primary to distract him. This was an epic failure. I lost him three times. He is just faster and stronger than me and I could not stop him from running. I felt like crying by the end of two hours.

The next week was worse. I opted to not take him on walks because I had lost him the week before, so we tried staying in class. This resulted in screaming, climbing under the chairs and running around the room. I attempted to stop him from doing these things, and he got mad. He grabbed my arms, squeezed, and yanked. And there was pain. So much pain that I had to leave the primary room lest I start crying in front of everyone.

It ended up that I pulled my rotator cuff. I couldn't move my arm without intense pain for a couple of days. Then my brother Johnny (who is a physical therapist) showed me some exercises to do and I have been doing them and my shoulder has been feeling a lot better. I still am in pain if I use it too much, but at least I can use it.

So, yesterday, I got a call from the Bishop. Someone had clued him in that I had had challenges the previous week in primary. I told him what had happened and it was decided that I would be released and they would call a man to the position who could better handle the physical requirements of the calling. I was so relieved that I started crying... again.

Only three weeks in the calling and it is over. Shortest calling ever. I admire the parents and the teachers who are able to handle the challenges of an autistic child. I'm obviously ill equipped for such things. Two weeks and I get hurt.

But, the bright side of all this is Matt was released of his primary calling. He has been wanting to get out of the primary for a while because he has been in for 3 years. And, with his new job, it presents a challenge for going to all three hours of church every week. It is doable, but some days he really needs to rest so that he can go to work again and stay awake all night... again.

This Sunday, we were able to actually go to Sunday School together for the first time in three years. It was so nice to get a little time together. Even if it was just an hour in church together. With this new job, we sometimes don't even get that on the weekend.

So, I continue my exercises so that my shoulder will continue to heal and I hope that my next calling will be less physically challenging.


Marie said...

Now you are calling-free!!!! I knew that one wouldn't last long. That would be very difficult. They should call someone who has experience dealing with stuff like that.

Laura said...

3 weeks...that must be a record You gave it your best so don't feel bad. Without any training, it would be extremely difficult for anyone.

Rebecca Susan said...

He was right, your family was blessed--Matt is free! :) That would be a very challenging calling on several levels. It's nice to know that your primary and your Bishop have enough awareness to be sure to meet that need for that family, and meet it in a way that doesn't put an undue burden on another family. I hope that means that your ward is generally a good support system:)

Sarah said...

Yikes yikes yikes! That would be stressful. Thank goodness you don't have to keep doing it when you really aren't equipped.