Thursday, February 18, 2016

Going to Church & Making Friends

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We are religious.  I may be less religious than my husband though I was raised in a religious household and went to church regularly.  John and I have discussed on many occasions what we thought we could do better with the children we have now versus my older children.  We both thought more religious and good character instruction would be important.

John is more about religion and not as concerned with denomination. I, on the other hand, was brought up Church of Christ and that is where I feel more at home. We went to several churches locally.  We had been taking the children to one Church of Christ for a while on Wednesday night. This church seems to have an older congregation that attends on Wednesday night. Overall, it has worked well for us and allows the children a chance to learn how they should behave at church.

They are learning. We still have incidences like James asking me a question in his regular voice instead at a whisper.  I swear none of the children have a volume control!  After singing a song, loudly and out of tune, Margaret ends the song by saying, "Woohoo!" or "Good job!"

Last night James sat at the end of the pew near the isle. As people passed he would say hi to each of them.  As part of James's autism "symptoms" he is often overly friendly.  We inadvertently taught this when we were teaching him social scripting. I don't mind but it can be a problem because he does not always understand when he has gone too far (crossed personal boundaries/becomes annoying) and he is very naive.  He still cannot look new people in the face when he greets them but we are making progress!

Who can say no to this sweet face?
James greeted people as they passed by and there were several elderly ladies who he had invited to sit by him.  One lady, June, was kind enough to accept his invitation.  She said she would let her sister know but she would be right back.  True to her word, she sat next to him until the children were dismissed to children's church.

While she sat there next to James he was so loving to her.  To me also as I was sitting on the other side of him.  He took her hand and held it.  He accidentally scratched himself on her bracelet. He took his hand away and rubbed his arm explaining what happened (rather loudly since he seems not to know how to whisper), apologized to her that he scratched himself on her bracelet, and then resumed holding her hand. At one point, during a story given by one of the men at the podium, James held his arms up as if was stretching and put his arm behind June and myself. Towards the end he was holding June's hand again and he took it and kissed it.

When the children were dismissed from the service James looked at her and said he would love to see her again and would she back back to church.  She said she would.  He asked if she would sit again with him. She said she would and she got up to sit next to her sister as James and the rest of the children went to children's church.

I won't lie when I said I had tears in my eyes as I watched James. We have no family here.  He knows he has grandparents but doesn't remember them. He has not seen them since he was 2. I was saddened to see the love he has and that his grandparents were not around to enjoy it.

I went to June after the service and told her how much I appreciated her sitting next to James. I told her I don't think she realizes how happy that made him!  How he had asked several people but no one accepted his invitation. June tells me she had never met such a polite and loving young man before. She goes on to tell me she never had children of her own and she would be happy to be James's friend.

James has a lot of love to give.  He is a big flirt though he does not know it. He will flatter women, all be accident, from 2 to 102. Someday, if continues along the same path,  he will make a good husband and father. I just need to make sure he finds a woman worthy of that sweet love.

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