Today was a special day for Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation group. They were able to go to a Habitat For Humanity project site, and help with painting.
They were all so excited. I've written before that one of the most favorite things the FRIENDS like to do is go out for lunch. Or dinner. They do love that. But what they love even MORE than that is helping others.
I think that, even tho we try to make it okay with them...we tell them how special they are to us, and how necessary they are to our families and friends, and how they very much have a place in our lives and in our world...they know.
Because actions speak louder than words.
Yes, they do have limitations. Some more than others. But since when did being different, or needing help, become a crime?
I'm here to tell you...if we live long enough, we may be one of those people who are "different"...who need help. We never know if an illness or a medical diagnosis or a car accident...or countless other things...might leave us in a state where we need to lean on and rely on others.
With Joshua and his FRIENDS, even in cases where we haven't said, "you can't," they know.
So, they get SUPER EXCITED at any opportunity to feel needed...any time they can help other people.
Joshua told me that he woke up at "5-til-5" this morning to go to the bathroom, and then could not go back to sleep. He was up, had eaten his breakfast, and was dressed and ready to go by 6:30 IN THE MORNING. He said, "so I just had an extra long quiet time this morning."
I had told Joshua to wear old clothes, in case he got paint on them, and I told him he could pack a bag with clothes to change into after they were done painting. He was dressed in a white t-shirt, shorts and the biggest clown shoes you've ever seen. What the WHAT? He does have a love for Crocs, and he was wearing these brownish, industrial-strength Crocs that he said were "good for lots of outside things." They were one size too big (he reminded me that he got them one year when we were at the beach...he and Jim each bought a pair of them because they were on sale. He said, "Dad's were one size too small and mine were one size too big."
Which begs the question...wait. It begs a TON of questions...but anyway.
Joshua and his FRIENDS had the best time today. A couple of them got up on ladders to paint. Which, EEEK! But mostly, they painted while standing on the ground.
And mostly they painted an area no higher than 5 feet from the ground.
Because mostly, they are challenged in the height department.
In one of the pictures I saw, Joshua was painting with his left hand. He is right-handed. I asked him why he was painting with his left hand, and he just looked at me with his "well, DUH" face and said, "it was closer."
Well, alrighty then.
So very thankful for the TR program Joshua attends...for the director and staff. Tearing down stereotypes, one at a time. They call it the "Branch Out" program...and it's supposed to open up the world to the FRIENDS, and it does...as they "branch out" from their comfort zones to try new things.
But it also shares the FRIENDS with the world. And it has been super cool to see those "light-bulb moments" when people realize that we are more alike than different...that we all have value and worth.
"In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary." 1 Corinthians 12:22