Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Take A Grasshopper For A Walk

I was going to edit some pictures of the projects I did using the Flower Shoppe cartridge and get one of them posted today but I decided to wait and write about this instead...

I have a a client base at a residential facilty for people who are developmentally delayed and have been going there for over two years now to see clients. I always enjoy my days there and make sure to take time and talk to residents who aren't my clients. It's always nice to walk in the workshop and hear several voices calling my name excited to tell me their latest news, whether it is they got a letter from dad with $10 in it, if they got a phone call from their brother, if they get to go into town and go shopping on the weekend or even if it is just for them to say hi and ask how I am doing.

Yesterday I had gotten one of my clients, who has the sweetest nature and disposition you can ever imagine, and asked if she wanted to walk "the circle". "The Circle" is a sidewalk that goes around the inside of the campus and links to each cottage on the campus. She was very eager to go outside and walk after being "rained in" all day. She quickly began telling me how she had stood up for herself and made a decision to break up with her boyfriend and get a new boyfriend who "is nicer to me". I was praising her about her good work when all the sudden she says "OH! There is a grasshopper!". She moved quickly to catch the grasshopper and cradled it in her hand. She spoke softly to the grasshopper and asked him "do you want to take a walk with us?" We walked further talking and she would make comments to the grasshopper occasionally asking such things as if he was enjoying the walk, if he was comfortable and was he enjoying the beautiful day after all the rain. I kept reassuring her what a wonderful job she did on being assertive and how I was so proud of her. She smiled sweetly at me and said she was proud of herself.

At one point I looked at her hand and noticed the grasshopper was just sitting calmly on her thumb, not moving, not trying to jump away, but instead like he was just listening to our conversation and very aware of the fact that she was just trying to take him on a little walk. We discussed some of the past issues she had about letting others "take advantage" of her and how she doesn't want to do that anymore. She looked up me and said "you know what?" and I smiled back at her and said "no I don't know". She suddenly had a very serious look on her face and said "I feel safe now. I feel like I can stand up to people and they listen to me". I told her "That is because you have become a stronger person now". With her free hand she grabbed my hand and made me stop, she looked up at me and said "Thank you. You have helped me become a strong person". Of course I smiled at her and let her know she had done the work, that I was just a tool for her to build herself stronger.

She let go of my hand and we continued to walk and talk until we got closer to the building where she works. Suddenly she stopped for a moment and bent over and told the grasshopper "Okay it's time for you to go now. I hope you enjoyed your walk with us Mr. Grasshopper". I told her "oh I am sure he enjoyed it since he didn't ever try to run off". We finished the last little bit of our walk just chit chatting about her work assignment and how she has the right to make the decision where she works, me always reassuring her that she was in charge of her life and her choices. As we got back to the door she just simply said "okay I gotta get back to work now but I will see you at group tomorrow, right?" I told her we would indeed have group tomorrow and then I was off to get my next client.

On my drive home I got to thinking about this client of mine and how joyous the simple things in life are to her. How taking a grasshopper for a walk gives her joy, how learning to stand up for herself and be assertive with others gives her such a sense of pride and it made me think of how to be thankful for the little things in my life. Sometimes I think we get so involved in the materialistic belongings, hustle and bustle of family affairs, stress of our jobs, etc. that we forget we indeed have small things in our lives to enjoy and for which to be thankful. Maybe we all need to learn to take a grasshopper for a walk every now and then, thinking about how wonderfully blessed we are and be thankful for every little thing!

37 comments:

  1. True statement Okie! Good reminder to start the day with and I hope you find another one of life's "grasshoppers" to walk with again today!

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  2. Amen to that Okie we often overlook the miracle each day give's us and when someone like you friend Or my Son Rory reminds us, we truly can count our blessings.

    Do you know my story of the child and the rainbow? May I share it?

    About three years ago I was working one day in The special needs school that Rory my youngest attends. Not in the same class I hasten to add or no work would be done!

    It had been a horrible morning with heavy rain and wind and the children had not been out and were becoming a little stir crazy. Seeing a break in the weather We rushed to get their coats on and shoo them outside for some fresh air before the weather turned wet again. well they all had a round round and let off some much needed steam. and as we were taking them back inside one child from the class next to ours was still outside ignoring the rain but carrying a cup.......As I watch him he is catching the raindrops. when intrigued I asked him what he was doing. He replied "
    I'm trying to grow a Rainbow miss".
    It makes me think, maybe we should all take some time to try and grow a rainbow.

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  3. You are ....Oh so right!!!
    It the little things that you find most important. And hardly ever is it a material thing!!

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  4. Wow Okie! What a powerful message! You really touched my heart this morning.

    Tracy

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  5. Okie, as the grandmother of two mentally challenged young men, your post today truly touched me. Your posts often make me laugh, but today I had tears in my eyes! (It's okay Okie, they were "good" tears!) My DD and SIL are considering whether or not it is time for their oldest son to join a group home...if that is the choice they make, I hope there are people there like you! Now, I am off to see if I can find a grasshopper to see if he would like to go for a walk! Thank you for myself and for these special people you encourage!

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  6. What an awesome young lady! She seems to have a great understanding of the important things in life. Makes me think I need to "take a grasshopper for a walk"! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  7. I very much enjoyed this today. I crave the time when life was simpler and more laid back and it seemed I enjoyed things more. Now, I just seem to get so caught up in so many things that have to get done and feel so overwhelmed. This reminds me that we have to take the time and remember what is truly important.

    Thank you for posting this today.

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  8. Thanks for blessing us with this story. I have a 12 yr old son with Down syndrome and he is such a blessing to our family and he reminds us of what is really important in life.
    Thanks!

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  9. Beautiful post Okie. I know I don't comment often, but I've been a long time follower. I just wanted to say thanks for giving that perspective and starting my day off right. Today I am going to do my best to appreciate each and every little thing =)

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  10. Beautiful post Okie. I know I don't comment often, but I've been a long time follower. I just wanted to say thanks for giving that perspective and starting my day off right. Today I am going to do my best to appreciate each and every little thing =)

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  11. Okie, thanks for sharing such a beautiful message. I've had a rough few days and it helped lift my spirits.

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  12. I usually don't read your posts until they arrive in my inbox, a day later, but I am so glad I ended up at your blog today. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful truth. We truly are too busy, and we forget to enjoy life.

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  13. What a truly wonderful story! You really need to think about writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul. This is a perfect story for it. Thank you for the reminder that we need to take time to "take a Grasshopper for a walk"! God Bless you!!!

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  14. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, and the life lesson that it teaches us.

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  15. Such a profound story. Thanks.
    Myrna

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  16. Okie, I loved your post today. It really touched my heart. It is good to think about our blessings. I help feed the homeless and now it is getting really cold here at night. They are trying to open a Warming Station in our town, but there are so many stipulations, it is hard to get it opened. Every night when I get into bed, I thank the Lord for a warm place to sleep as I know many of my homeless friends have to sleep by the river or under a bridge. Stopping and taking acount of the small things we take for granted is a really good thing. Your story today made me aware of some and that I need to slow down and enjoy the awesome world God has created. Thanks again for sharing. God bless, Smoochie

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  17. Okie, my eyes are leaking....Love ya

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  18. You really need to get a "like" button on here! What a great story and lesson for all of us. Thanks.

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  19. Seems like you had a beautiful and blessed day. Thanks to jerking us back to reality and to be so thankful for everything we have. Great way to end my day even if I shed a few tears...
    blessings and hugs,
    bobbi

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  20. Thank you for sharing your story. I work with children who have been abused and neglected and they too can bring special moments in your life. It can make one sit back and reflect on how fortunate some of us are.

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  21. Oh Okie,
    Your post today took my breath away. Loved it and love you.
    Claudia

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  22. Beautiful, Okie. You said it very well. Today I'm looking for grasshoppers.

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  23. This is so beautiful. I spent 16 years of my life working with people with intellectual disabilities, and I love them. God bless you for taking time to walk a grasshopper.

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  24. Wow! What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing that, what a difference you have made both to your clients and also to all of your readers! That will certainly be a story I will not forget! Thank you!

    Oh...I am also anxious to see what you did with Flower Shoppe! :)

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  25. love you for sharing. Thanks Okie!

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  26. What a lovely message ... I needed that reminder today!
    =)

    Hugz,
    Carol

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  27. Ahhh Okie this is wonderful! Thanks you!
    Hugs
    Linda

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  28. I totally agree and "ditto" all the above comments!! If you write a book, please title it "Walking with a Grasshopper". I know we will all buy it!. Thanks for the perspective on simplicity and little blessngs!!
    LynnV.

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  29. I'm going to walk this weekend...not around a busy grocery store or a crowded mall or in a rush to get somewhere else...just an easy walk with no purpose other then to enjoy the little things and not feel guilty about it!

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  30. What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  31. Damn Okie! That was fantastic! Thank you for sharing this story! It does make one think, and yes, we need to smile at the little things, for they keep us going, whether we know it or not! :)

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  32. Thankyou for this story. It helps to be encouraged by others. Wonderful.

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  33. Thanks for sharing this story. It is a great reminder of how Blessed I am regardless of what's going on around me or with me. Smooches... Felicia

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  34. Okie, please think about writing a book, you are GOOD!!!!! I loved this story, it was wonderful :)
    mhalford6 @aol. com

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