Mason is my youngest. When he was a baby, the only thing that would calm him was swinging while listening to classical music LOUDLY. He couldn’t tolerate the feel of his feet in shoes or on the floor so he refused to stand, much less walk, until he was desensitized through therapy. Little did I know at the time, that his uniqueness was only beginning to emerge.
By the time he was 3 he had perfect fine motor control and could manipulate the tiniest things. He was coloring a picture of a basket of blueberries. He would not color the blueberry shape or basket shape as a whole, instead, he spent 40 minutes coloring each individual weave of the basket and each of probably 70 blueberries before his hand gave out and he asked me to finish it for him. I had to color it the same way, tiny shape by tiny shape as he
Now Mason is 9 years old. He is smart and funny and has a contagious and quick grin, but he also has a huge fear of the embarrassment, he still has no tolerance for unpleasant things including smells and ugly or gross things. He will not watch Nanny McPhee until the end because of how she looks, and wouldn’t play with a friend because “He has yucky ears”. He will not read out loud at church or in front of his dad except for family scripture time, because he’ll be embarrassed. He won’t participate in things he would love and be good at because of this. It’s frustrating to watch, but we are working through it slowly one step at a time.
His first reaction to things is usually negative. Last year, at Cub Scout Day Camp, the boys were introduced to badminton. He hated it! He complained about it loudly. I smiled and whispered “Sorry… Yep. He’s mine.” However the next day when we showed up to the Sports area to play soccer, he said “What about badminton? That’s my favorite game.” Everyone looked at me and we all smiled. Yep, It’s the same kid. He’s like that with lots of things.
On Sunday, the kids were challenged to memorize an Article of Faith. Mason said “I’m not gonna do it.” All the other kids were excited to take the challenge and get the treat for meeting it, but nope, not mine. He won’t sing at church or participate in the yearly program. I have high hopes that some day he’ll decide to participate. His brother was slow to warm up to these kinds of things too.
Well, today I decided to work on the Article of Faith Challenge with Mattie and Mason. Just as I suspected, his reaction was negative at first, but as soon as I wrote the “code” on the chalkboard, he decided it wasn’t so bad. They’ve both been reciting it all day with and without use of the “code”.
Here is the Article of Faith we were starting with:
We believe in God, the Eternal Father and in His son, Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.
Here the “code”:
W B I G T E F A I H S J C A I T H G
It’s really just a mnemonic tool using the first letter of each word but it’s amazing what you can learn with it. When I taught teenagers their scripture Mastery verses, we used this tool often, especially for the really long ones. I could have used a visual or other type of tool to aid in memory, but I just felt like this was the one to use today. First Mattie and Mason said it using the complete code. Then I erased parts of it until there were no letters left. There were smiles all around! I later wrote it at the top of our chalkboard and several times today, both children have walked past it reciting it. ☺ YES! Maybe tomorrow it will be his new favorite thing! Regardless, he’s mine and I adore him!