We had a good day here. I took Joshua to get lunch at Chick-Fil-A. He is going on a little camping trip with his group of FRIENDS...and I thought it might be special to him I took him out to lunch.
Part of this camping trip is to promote independence...so the Therapeutic Recreation staff asked that the FRIENDS pack their own clothes, carry their own luggage...and put their own bedding on their beds in the cabin.
Which, I appreciate this and all...but there was that one time when he forgot to pack his "undies" and I don't even want to think about what all went on with THAT.
Joshua has been making "stacks" of his clothes for several days. I kind of went up and supervised, but he had it pretty well organized, from what I could tell.
Jim took him so I could go to choir. He said that he tried to carry Joshua's sleeping bag, even tho they had sent an email asking the parents NOT to help. But Jim said they had to park at the bottom of a hill and then walk back up and cut through a small grassy area to get to the cabin. Jim said that Joshua pulled his rolly-suitcase, but he carried his sleeping bag for him.
So I came home from choir, and Jim wasn't home yet...and the house is QUIET.
And even tho Joshua is not a LOUD person, he has certain sounds he makes when he's doing his thing upstairs...and so it's like a constant hum of activity up there. We can hear his TV. We can hear if he's crashing around doing martial arts. We can hear him walk to the bathroom at 8 o'clock at night to take his bath/shower. We can hear him running the water. And we can hear him talk.
People with Down Syndrome typically do this thing called "self-talking." They talk and talk and talk...to themselves. Sometimes I will call upstairs, and say, "Joshua! Who are you talking to?" And he'll holler back down: "MYSELF!" I have walked into his room before, and he will be pacing around his room and talking...using his hands for emphasis. The article I read said that it helps them...because they talk it out to themselves, and then it kind of makes more sense in their minds.
So...we hear him talking.
After his shower, he will go to his room and get his nightclothes on...and then he will load up all of his dirty clothes and towels...and bring them downstairs to the laundry room. Every.single.night. For the record, he is the only one of our 4 who did this. It is so helpful to me!
Then, he will go to the refrigerator that's in the garage, and get out one of those small, individual-sized, containers of yogurt. When he comes in, he will ask Jim..."have you had yogurt yet?" And then he will share his yogurt with Jim. He will usually eat half of it, and then give the other half to Jim.
And then he will sit on the couch and visit with us, or watch TV, until bedtime.
He just called us to let us know that he's doing well. He said that they played some games, had a campfire, cooked hot-dogs...and had s'mores for DEssert. He said, "I only had one s'more...it was all I needed."
I asked him if he remembered his water bottle. Because, ya know, PARENTS WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO HELP THEM PACK. He keeps a water bottle beside his bed in case he needs water during the night...and he usually does. He is a light sleeper, and his throat gets dry. But, mainly...it's part of his night-time routine, and he.must.not.deviate.from.it.
He said he did NOT remember his water bottle, but it was okay BECAUSE HE FOUND A WATER BOTTLE, UNDER A BENCH AT THE CAMPSITE, THAT SOMEONE HAD LEFT THERE AND HE WAS JUST GOING TO RINSE IT OUT AND USE IT.
And that's how Marty died.
Actually, it's how Marty, the mother-who-is-not-supposed-to-be-helping-her-son-this-weekend-so-that-he-can-learn-to-be-independent...texted the TR Director, and she was so kind to bring over some CLEAN and UNUSED water bottles for all the guys.
Because "re-using" undies, or going commando, is one thing...
"Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall ." John 6:35