Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pretty in Pink

Youth Group was wonderful tonight. When the kids sat on big comfy couches arranged in a square, Pamela looked around and asked, "Where's Amy?" The other students looked at Amy in surprise because Pamela does not usually acknowledge anyone. Amy smiled and bobbed her head gently with attitude because she knew to be singled out by Pamela was special.

Every week, the class warms up with an affirmation exercise. A student draws the name of a boy and a girl in the class. Then they must come up with positive adjectives that describe the person to form an acronym of their name. When they drew Pamela's name, a little knot tied up my stomach. Outside of Amy, Pamela does not really interact much with the other kids, even though she faithfully attends Youth Group every Sunday night. We have only lived here for a little over a year, and, to people who were born and raised in this town, Pamela is still the new kid on the block, especially because we homeschool. I knew she had two allies, Amy and a girl who works as a paid ABA therapist for some autistic twins. I worried that silence and awkward pauses would fill the room as kids struggled to find affirming things to say about Pamela.

I was pleased with their efforts for even some of the more reticent boys came up with kind words to describe Pamela:

P - Pretty in pink, positive
A - Awesome
M - Magnificent
E - Excitable, excited
L - Lovable, lovely
A - Adorable

The pastor usually rewrites the affirmations neatly and posts them in the window that week. I promise to snap a picture on Wednesday and post it.


Karla Akins said...

That is wonderful! I can hardly wait to see the picture of your daughter's name! My husband is a pastor and I run a little cottage school there at the church and I am going to use that idea. It's a great one! Thanks for stopping by my blog: and
I agree with you on using the term "enthusiasms." I also use the term "fascinations" to describe my sons' latest obsessions!

walking said...

Thanks, Karla! I will drop you a line after I post the picture. I know my pastor will be thrilled to learn others like this idea.