When Clark and Phil were in their teens there was an after-school program run by the Seattle Parks Department called “Teen Club” that was held once a week at our local high school. They were brought home after on the little yellow school bus. Once they graduated from high school and were through with the transition program (18-21 years old) they were through with teen club. It was a safe environment with adult supervision, with opportunities in leadership and involvement with their peers in playing games. There are sad moments in life when something good comes to an end and you see your little boys (disguised in men’s bodies) move into a new phase of sporadic employment in a competitive world. Imagine my joy when I opened a pamphlet from our neighborhood community center advertising classes and swimming lessons and there was a weekly class (TNT) from 10:30-1:00 for adults with disabilities. I don’t even know what the initials stand for but it doesn’t matter because Clark and Phil call it Teen Club. It is that same safe environment with adult supervision, with opportunities in leadership and involvement with their peers. This coming Tuesday they will watch a movie and then eat their sack lunches together. There is no longer the little yellow school bus to bring them home but that’s okay because it is less than ½ mile from our house to the community center and they can walk to and from but rarely together. Phil likes to be there 30 minutes early so he can help set up tables and chairs and Clark likes to beat Phil home afterwards even though I have to continually remind them “It is not a race.”
Last Tuesday was craft day. They strung beads and made necklaces and I was the recipient of all three—two from Phil and one from Clark. I put on all three even though the heat in the house was at least 90 degrees. As I was dreaming about our “Toy House” and how perfect these necklaces would be for dress up for little visitors I heard Phil say something about wearing them to church. They have been on my desk for the past four days reminding me of the sweet moments of each day with my boys.