Monday, November 17, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

Before I get to the main course, I have to share two appetizers. Yesterday, Pamela did two lovely things.

When David came downstairs, ready for church, he sat on a chair to watch television. Pamela walked into the room, and he said, "Good morning, Pamela!" She walked to him, gave him a big hug, and said, "Good morning!"

Later, at church, Pamela was being very static about Steve's traveling schedule next week. He told her he was flying to Atlanta on Thursday, but she was trying to convince him to drive instead. He explained that the flight to Atlanta is short, but it would take eight hours to drive there. She still thought her idea was better. She tapped him on his forehead and said, "Use your brain!" This was pure Pamela because we have never said nor done such a thing to her!

This year, Pamela and I put together a shoe box for Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child. Pamela decided to do a box for a little girl between the ages of five to nine. On Friday, we walked to a local discount store, bought a plastic container, and filled it with toys. Since we are working on living with uncertainty, I showed Pamela some money and put it in my pocket. We went on a walk, but I did not tell her where I was going. Clearly, she was curious because she asked me about it half-way to the store (there are several stores within walking distance of our house). However, she was collected enough to avoid the static on our walk and made lovely comments about what we experienced on the way.

On Friday, we bought all kinds of toys (a Beanie Baby doll, yo-yo, jump rope, ball, pink boa, and Slinky), school supplies (glue, markers, and crayons), and personal items (a handmade washcloth--I crocheted it, soap, barrettes, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, and pretty socks). Pamela focused intently on her mission and did not always communicate well. When pointing the way, she did not always check to see if I am paying attention. As usual, I talked too much! I love her little asides . . . "I stole it" (when I told her I lost the list), "Ha, never mind!" (after I found the list), "No, I can't! How come?" (when she was ready to stop), "Over there, I told you" (after I failed to follow her). I loved our little problem-solving moment at the end when we were deciding if the box of crayons might fit. And, of course, I accidentally left one segment upside down . . . I'm tired, cold, and cranky and I'm leaving it as is!

On Sunday, Pamela typed a short letter with a picture of her and her babies. We wrapped the box and took it to church to meet today's deadline. First, we packed the box. Pamela focused on packing but did pause to make a couple of comments about the glue made in Columbus, Ohio, the Beanie Baby doll not being an animal, and the soft boa. She adjusted to me when I suggested doing the big things first, picking a better spot for the yo-yo, and looking at the musical toothbrush after I shook it.

When we wrapped the present, we kept our roles fluid to create uncertainty. Sometimes, I cut the tape and she placed it on the gift, and, at other times, it was vice versa. After we finished, we talked about what the little girl receiving the present might say and our favorite things in the gift. She was so delightful and really seemed to enjoy putting together the shoe box.

Here are some close-up shots of our box and all of the boxes our church donated.

Our next big projects are delivering meals on Thanksgiving and putting together an elder basket for Santee tribes in our state (due November 30).


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

WOW look at all those baskets!! Your church did a great job. I'm surprised Pamela was OK giving up the toys. :]

PS The uncertainty would drive me NUTS! But I guess you do have to practice these situations because you never know.

Mama Skates said...

so awesome! every post is filled with such positive reports these days! :0)

my mom is the regional manager for samaritan's purse here in VA...and she gets to travel to the dominican republic to pass out boxes after Christmas! she's soooo excited!


Blooming Where We're Planted said...

I love your way of working on helping her understand and deal with uncertainty. I had never thought of that, but will try it with Jeremiah, on a different age level of course. He too does not like not knowing what's going on.

walking said...

Mrs. C, this uncertainty thing is very effective. Last week, Pamela let go of the sacred hour (between noon and one), an institution in our home for the past eighteen months! I really think our work with exploring uncertainty has helped her look at not being in control in a new light.

Mama, that would be so cool if your mother had one of our boxes!

Blooming, I am surprised at how more fluid Pamela is becoming now that we are exploring uncertainty with greater mindfulness.

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

i must get on the stick faster next year! i always forget about this! very neat!! (so you don't HAVE to use a shoebox?? you can buy one of thhose see thru jobbies?)