Tuesday, April 17, 2012

B21 Update

Isn't this a great picture of Bantam21?

It was taken at the Easter Vigil, during the passing of the Peace.  His smile here looks so happy and un-self-conscious.  (It's hard to get a good picture of him when he knows you are taking it.)  His face looks thinned out, from the weight he's lost--his jawline reminds me of his father's.  His hairline is already receding--another way he takes after his dad--but from this angle, it's not that noticeable.  He looks alive, intelligent, happy.  I really wish for more situations that pull him out of his shell like this.

One great development in his life is that he's got a new friend.  There is another boy close to his age at our church, who just graduated from high school in December.  He has special needs too, and lives nearby, and he and B21 have discovered a common interest in video games and sci fi.  He volunteers at a pet shelter, but on Thursdays, he's home all day, so we take B21 over there, since he's got a PS3.  They play games all day, and B21 likes to stay for dinner with him and his mom and brother.  I think the smaller number at the dinner table is good for B21, and he now looks forward to Thursdays as the high point of his week.

The caseworker at the DVR is still working on finding a job for B21, more than just an entry-level Walmart-type job, something that fits his abilities and strengths.  I pray for a work environment that brings out the young man in this photo--with work that engages him, and where there are good folks that he'll enjoy working with, and who will enjoy working with him.  Pray for her!

In the meantime, I am grateful for B21's help at home.  A number of months ago, we asked him to pitch in with more household chores than he had previously been doing--since he's living at home rent-free, not working, and has more time than the rest of us.  So now he's the man in charge of keeping the kitchen cleaned up after meals--no small task.  His other regular chores include bringing in groceries and putting them away, vacuuming every Saturday, putting out the trash/recycling bins, and cleaning the boys' bathroom.  He wasn't thrilled about it at first, but now that it's become routine, I can count on him to do all these jobs without complaint and often without reminders. What a blessing!

He has also made daily exercise a part of his routine. Combined with healthy eating, that's how he lost the 50 pounds he put on in college.  The 40+ that he put on in junior high/high school aren't coming off as quickly, but he's sticking to his routine and trying to increase his activity level.  Usually, if it's nice outside, he walks for three miles and bikes for 6-9 miles.  If it's cold or windy, he jogs on the treadmill for 4-5 miles, with breaks.  Lately he's been pushing his speed up to a faster pace and is actually breaking a sweat on his runs now.  He says it feels good!

I still wonder about him taking more college classes, especially to learn certain computer software, but we've wanted to keep his schedule free to be able to take a job, and there are the transportation difficulties.  He does have a license, but he's not driving; it confuses him to drive to different destinations all the time.  Our plan is to teach him the route to work and back, when he gets a job, and I suppose we could do that with school too.  But it ties up a car, it costs money, it's been difficult to choose the right classes, and we want him to be available to take a job when one is found, to start paying back the student loans he already has--which have been deferred, fortunately, until he gets a job.  In the meantime, he's gradually working his way through tutorials to learn new things, but he likes his own computer projects and routines more; he's a big contributor of images to Halopedia and other sci-fi websites.

I know friends and family--and even readers who've never met B21--have prayed for him over the years, and we are so thankful.  Overall, he is well and content, although he would love to have a job and eventually his own apartment.  But for now, it's nice having him around!


Papa Bear said...

Glad to hear all the good news! Praying that he finds work to fit his needs and interests.

Anonymous said...

It all sounds good! I'm really impressed with how much he's exercising, and so faithfully doing the work as well. We're happy for him, and also praying for the right job. PTL for the new friend! Pianomum

Margaret said...

I have prayed for him and been blessed by him in days gone by at Resurrection. He was one of my faves boys to pray for before I had my own. As I read I was struck by the thought that more education may be why he's not got a job yet, and maybe harder to do once the job comes. There's something about college that is easier to do when it's college time than later, as we've discovered ourselves with educational goals. I also have a similar dilemma, an oldest boy who helps me most, in my case with difficult bedrest situation pregnancies, and his education needs....all in good time. It's all hard at the time! MB

Margaret said...

And I'll pray for job and comfort to increase, I understand it all as I found life hard emotionally and driving, jobs, etc. a challenge at that age for me. MB

At A Hen's Pace said...


You have been such a faithful pray-er for him for so many years! Thank you!!

It's hard to know if a college degree is attainable or worth it for him. He loved the college lifestyle, but didn't do that well academically, and it's easy to imagine him in three years hitting walls again in the job search, and then with all the student loans to repay. So many college grads are working at Starbucks! A few strategic computer classes may make sense, if we can work it out.

Dixie said...

So much about B21 reminds me of his oldest Kansas cousin, or vice versa. She is 100% reliable when it comes to her chores and her ridiculous schedule. I can't keep any of it straight. And, she's been jogging daily. Religiously. How funny! They share genes aplenty. B21 looks very handsome, BTW!

At A Hen's Pace said...


How fun to get an update on my oldest niece, and how interesting to note the similarities! I wonder how much is attributable to them both being firstborns, in addition to genes. B21 would never have chosen the exercise when he was her age--good for her!

Give our love to all!