This is a good week.
I took Joshua to Little Rock yesterday to be with his group. They went shopping...grocery shopping and CLOTHES shopping.
One of the group's favorite things is the Thanksgiving Potluck they have each year. Some of the friends don't come every day, but EVERYONE comes on Thanksgiving Potluck day. So there are things that will be needed...paper products and decorations, and those are some of the items they went to the store to get yesterday.
Also, last year, it became apparent that people have very different views on what is appropriate when it comes to how-to-dress. Some have never been taught what is appropriate...and some have never given it a thought at all! So when the director would say, "we are going to the dinner theater, please dress appropriately," the friends might show up in outfits ranging from a prom dress...to a DUCK DYNASTY t-shirt and shorts.
So they had a little session on fashion and what styles looked good on different body types...how clothes should FIT and cover the areas that need to be covered...and how, especially on the days when they are out in the community, they not only want to put their best selves forward, they are also representing the Therapeutic Recreation program. This is what led to Joshua wanting the "more mature" clothes.
After their discussion session, they piled in the van and went to a local Good-Will type store...each armed with $10-20 dollars. They chose items they liked and tried them on for fit and approval from their peers. This is Joshua's re-cap from yesterday:
"I walked in and saw some $6 blue pants. They were "around" my same size (he did the "air quotes" with his hands on the word: "around" So funny). I went to the dressing room to try on the pants. They fit "just fine." I didn't want to come out and model them in front of everyone. I got in line and bought the pants, and some dress socks. And then I sat down."
Is he a man or what?
Joshua said, "Jenni said, 'I don't want to shop today...I'm not getting anything...I don't want to go...' over and over."
He said he turned around and Jenni had an ARM FULL of clothes to try on.
He loves to tell us all the drama...what everyone ELSE did. Everyone else but HIM. Who got upset with who...all of that. It's just exhausting. My mother-in-law, blessherheart, she takes it all soooo seriously. In the beginning, so did I. But I've learned...it's like...kind of like...I don't know how to describe it. You know how when kids try to get in all kinds of relationship drama and they are too young for it...and every little thing stirs everybody up? It's kind of like that. Kind of like a cross between a young child and a pre-teen. And, since most of the friends are intellectually challenged to some degree, they don't always understand all the complexities involved in relationships. Some of them try to repeat what they see on TV or in the movies...all of that teen movie stuff.
That never goes well.
And someone will cry...and someone will stomp off...and someone will say unkind words...and then, when you are exhausted and your emotions have been on a rollercoaster and you have used every skill you've ever been taught and all the logic you have trying to explain and mediate...they will shrug their shoulders, forgive each other, and have a big ol' hug. And it's all so sweet.
"Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, You forgive them all." Psalm 65:3