Tuesday, December 1, 2015

First Day Back to Therapeutic Recreation: Decorating the Center!

Today was Joshua's first day back to Therapeutic Recreation since the week before Thanksgiving. Might not seem like a long time to you and me, but to him? It's been an eternity.

He was SO excited to get back and see all of his friends.

Which would explain why he was downstairs in the kitchen at 6 a.m. warming up 2 blueberry muffins for his breakfast...when I told him we weren't leaving until 8:30.

And which would also explain why, what with all the extra time he had this morning, he completely rearranged both silverware drawers.

And when I asked him about it, he said, "ohhhhh...I just wanted to change things up."

Sometimes it's the little things...

that push you over the edge.

Like wanting a spoon...and getting a fork.

Just kidding. I appreciate that he wants to help...and I like that he feels he can move things around to suit him better.

Anyway, when we walked into the TR Center, most of the group was already there. They were sitting at the round tables, and Ms. Sherrie had the dry-erase board up at the front of the room. I asked if they were "brain-storming," which sounds like a good idea until someone suggests an activity or outing that someone else really hates...or if someone suggests an activity or outing because they KNOW someone else really hates it...and then all h-e-double-toothpicks breaks out, and so there's that.

They weren't brain-storming. Ms. Sherrie was talking to them about their Christmas program...and about the parts they will all play.

I love Ms. Sherrie. I love her creativity and her dreams...and how hard she works to make it all happen.

I left and did a little shopping...and then met my friend, Amy, for lunch. It was like a shot in the arm, because I've kind of been in a funk since the kids left after the Thanksgiving break.


We sat at lunch and talked for 2 hours, and then I went to pick up Joshua. When I walked in, I heard Christmas music playing in the back. I walked back there quietly. The FRIENDS are all super-aware of anyone who comes in the building, and will usually shout out who it is. I like to be able to quietly observe.


All of the FRIENDS were helping with the decorating. They were putting up at least 3 Christmas trees of different sizes...and things on the walls and windows. There was something for everyone to do...the short ones, the tall ones, the ones in wheelchairs, the ones who walk with canes or braces on their legs; the ones who are outgoing, the ones who are shy, the ones who don't talk at all, and the ones who ne-ver-shut-up. It wasn't loud. It wasn't unorganized. It was fun...and peaceful. I mean, if I could paint, I would paint that image and look at it every day. It was just that beautiful.

Joshua's group was putting lights on the large Christmas tree. He said that once they got the tree put together, some of the FRIENDS started putting decorations on it like it was a race. And then he said, "hey...LIGHTS FIRST, then ornaments." So they had to talk off all the ornaments and start over.

Ms. Sherrie said that some of the FRIENDS said they had never decorated a Christmas tree...or helped decorate a Christmas tree. She said she showed them the lights, and they tested them to make sure they worked. She told them how to put them on, and then left them to do it. We left before all the lights got put on, but I.CAN.NOT.WAIT to see what it looks like when we get there in the morning.

It's weird how things look different to different people. I know many people who could walk with me down that hall at the Therapeutic Rec Center, and all they would feel is pity for the FRIENDS...for how they look or talk or walk...or for what they CAN'T do.

But me?

I see love...and beauty, acceptance and determination.

And hope.

Lots and lots of hope.

"For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being formed in secret, and intricately and skillfully formed (as if embroidered with many colors) in the depths of the earth." Psalm 139: 13-15 (Amplified Bible)

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