On Saturday, the oldest moved back home. She and her U-Haul and her moving entourage were due here at 2pm and by 4:30 when I left for the Vigil Mass, she still had not arrived, seriously hampering my plans to liberate the tree from its plastic netting. My prayers were heard because by the time I got home from Mass, all of the furniture was in place and all that was left were bags and boxes of clothes and books. By the time I was ready to retire for the night, the tree was lit and decorated and all but the stockings had been hung.
Cait's not thrilled about having to move back home, and truth be told, the feeling's kind of mutual - LOL! The dogs feel differently. They're in seventh heaven to have her here.
Rebecca has been a bit subdued the past few weeks. On Saturday, I asked her what was wrong. She told me she didn't know what to ask for this Christmas. She hasn't been able to tell me a single thing she'd like to have. How markedly different from her siblings!
I'd like to believe that she is thinking, as I am, of a family we adopted at work. Dad lost his job last year, followed by the family home, and Mom is doing her best to put together something for their five children. The youngest is profoundly autistic. Our department received a list of things that she wanted to have for them, none of them frivolous or expensive. The generosity of my co-workers has been awesome. Mom asked us not to wrap the gifts as she would like to be able to do this herself, so in addition to the wish list, wrapping paper and bows were also donated.
Please keep this family in your prayers.
Matthew is going through some growing pains right now. It took him some time to get established in his high school and learn how to brush off the insults from bullies and other trouble-makers. Now that he's got school under control, he's having to face similar situations at work. He began his job at the bakery by washing the large pots and pans but gradually he's been given more duties. His employer knows he has "issues" and isn't the quickest learner and he's been very patient with Matt, but the same cannot be said for a hand full of his co-workers. Not all but some of his colleagues are insulting, impatient and uncharitable toward him. He didn't help his cause when he dropped a cake a few weeks back but his boss dismissed it as a rookie mistake and told him to get back on the horse. My husband stopped by the bakery one day when Matt wasn't scheduled to work to talk to his boss and see if there were any concerns we could address.
"Matt is a good kid. I know some of the guys give him a hard way to go but I let it slide because he needs to toughen up. I keep an eye on him and I tell him all the time the only opinion that counts is mine and I really like him. He's a hard worker, always on time and always respectful."
Along with having a regular paycheck, he now has an ATM card. My husband took him to the bank a few times to show him how to withdraw money, but I think he underestimated how much help Matt needs. We got a call from the bank of Friday that he had overdrawn his account. When we tried to talk to him about it, he erupted in anger because he's frustrated.
"I can't do banking things. I tried but I can't do them."
These are the kinds of things I have known we would have to deal with. No amount of encouragement can offset the pain of knowing you are different and can't do some of the simple things that others take for granted. Matt's school offers a vocational program for students with special needs. He refuses to let me enroll him because he does not want to be identified as learning-disabled or mentally challenged. Sometimes, I have wondered if it wouldn't have been easier for Matthew to be more profoundly impacted so that he would not be aware of his differences. He's in a tough place and your prayers would be appreciated.
I'm very proud of him that even though he emptied out his account, he spent the money on others, selecting very thoughtful gifts for his grandparents and friends. He's always been the kind of kid who enjoyed giving things away more than getting them and for this I'm grateful. I just wish the rest of the world could see his goodness.
I went to the novenas as I always do on Monday evenings and this week, I offered the Miraculous Medial novena for Matt's intentions. Who better than the Blessed Virgin Mary to lend a compassionate ear to a mother's plea for her rejected and mistreated son?
These things are but a trifle compared to the difficulties that others face, especially at this time of year.