I can’t do this, Mom. It feels weird. It’s too hard.
I’ll help you, Son. I’ll hold your hand until you get the feel of it. Cursive is hard.
HoH It: If it’s good and new, and really hard to do.
It’s the most basic, for the most needy. It’s the highest degree of help and the least amount of independence. It’s what therapists and teachers do when there is no other way to progress.
My day job proves it. When success eludes a student tracing a shape or cutting a line, we guide that hand. We go Hand over Hand, or HoH for short.
My mom job confirms it. The way to get squashy spoons held by chubby hands into target mouths and little-boy hands connecting those tricky cursive loops is to hold those hands in ours.
A funny thing about cursive: you need to know cursive to write cursive. You can’t be linking and looping and curving one letter smooth into the next without unless you already know how form each letter and connect one to the next. Cursive is a catch-22.
Which explains why Gabe’s first couple cursive “can’s” looked more like “rln’s” than anything. And why “and” looked a whole lot like “onol” and he wanted to quit two minutes in.
And why he needed help.
A Way Through Our Catch-22
Someone said, “Repenting is siding with God against yourself.” That’s hard. About the hardest thing we’ll ever do, since when we first believed and a thousand times hence.
Repentance means dying to self. And dying, even little deaths, is no fun at all. It’s admitting specific wrongs-like gossiping, breaking my word, being harsh with the boys. And who likes to admit he was wrong?
In a chapter of Mere Christianity called “The Perfect Penitent,” C.S. Lewis our dilemma-why we so desperately need God’s hand guiding ours to turn it right and repent.
It is something much harder than merely eating humble pie. It means killing part of yourself, undergoing a kind of death. In fact it needs a good man to repent. And here comes the catch. Only a bad person needs to repent: only a good person can repent perfectly. The worse you are the more you need it and the less you can do it…
It cannot happen. Very well, then, we must go through with it. But the same badness which makes us need it makes us unable to do it.
Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of his reasoning powers and that’s how we think; He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another.
When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters; that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do.