I call it the five year old syndrome and I began to experience it after I'd had a ruptured brain aneurysm in December 2009. One of the things I lost was my ability to multi-task. I had been an elementary school teacher working in the inner-city and with 25 plus students usually under the age of 10, one had to be very adept at multi-tasking. If you don't believe me, try cramming 25-30 active 7 and 8 years olds into a small classroom built in 1931, and spending the entire day alone with them teaching them things like reading, languarge arts, math, science, social studies, social skills and... you get the idea. It is like being the captain of a ship trying to maintain course, despite the frequent eruption of storms.
I was good at multi-tasking and needing to make changes at the drop of a hat. The brain aneurysm changed all of that. Not only could I no longer multi-task, the prospect of merely having to think for a moment about what I would do after I finished Task A could reduce me to tears and in the early days, often did. While I was gradually able to regain some control of the exhibition of my emotions, the internal panic still remained. Outwardly I am a capable-looking 54 year old woman. Internally, however, I am often a little girl, desperately trying to be brave.
I came across this picture of me and my dad a few years ago and I love it because when I look at it, I notice a few things. First of all, there I am, attempting to do something that I cannot do on my own. I attempted to get on my tricycle but I couldn't. I have seen this scenario enough over the years to know exactly what had happened. The very young child attempts to get on the tricycle but it moves. So, they try to hold onto the handlebars to keep it from moving but they lack the gross motor skills to bring that leg up and over the seat while hanging onto the tricycle. When they attempt to do so, they usually end up pushing the seat or the handlebars away from them and must start over again. In other words, they are rather clumsy at first until they learn how to do it. Practice makes perfect but we still have the problem of learning how to do this in the first place.
Knowing that I could not do it, my father comes to my rescue. He does not scold me for not being able to do it but he doesn't put me on the tricycle either. To do so would teach me nothing about how to get on it. Instead he does what I cannot do. He holds the tricycle steady so that I can mount it.
Another thing I notice in this picture is that my dad's right hand is over my right hand and he is directly behind me. He is not only keeping the tricycle steady, he is holding onto me. I don't appear to be aware of it, for I am not looking at his hand. However, his hand is there, covering mine. His close proximity to me clearly shows me, more than 50 years later that even if I let go, even if I slipped and started to fall, he would catch me and I would be safe.
See how all of his attention is focused on me. He does not even lift his face up to look at the camera. One hundred percent of his attention is on helping his little daughter do what she cannot do on her own and keeping her safe.
Finally, notice the look on my face. There is no fear. I am not looking back at my dad, wondering if he will help me and keep me safe. Instead I am looking straight ahead which suggests that I am completely confident that my daddy will help me and that I have nothing to fear.
Whenever I look at this picture, my thoughts turn to my Heavenly Father. If my earthly father did these things for me, how much more so does my Heavenly Father do these things for me as well? He helps me to do the things that I cannot do. He encircles me with His love, keeps things "steady" and holds onto my hand. When I fall, He is there to catch me and His eyes are ever upon me and they are also ever upon you.
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, Psalm 17:8 (KJV)
The thing I noticed first, was you pulling your foot up! This silly foot won't do what it's supposed to, so I will just pick it up and put it where it needs to go! I could not tell it was a tricycle. I actually thought you were just trying to stand (or dance) on one leg!
K, this blog was lovely and I really thank you for sharing it. It was brilliant to see the picture too! Such a beautiful little
I just want to give you a , though, because my mother has MS and faces the same kind of challenge. Used to be the snappiest, smartest person in any room and now she loses her chain of thought halfway through a sentence ... and it can be really upsetting for her, because people often don't realise just how smart she is and treat her as if she were a little slow or dithery. I pray that God will increase your strength ... and give you patience if you also find yourself facing people who just don't 'get' how hard it is for you, and how smart you are.
Am glad that God our Father is with you (and me, and all of us) ALWAYS ... and that he always 'gets' what is going on on the inside, so we are never suffering in secret or alone.
Thank you for the reminder.