This morning I am awakened bright and early by a phone call from the cottage where Lemuel resides for just three more days before coming home for good. The staff member is gentle with me as she shares that there has been "an incident" this morning. Apparently, a stash of candy bars went missing from the cottage. Each client was interviewed separately and each one, including Lemuel, vehemently denied taking the candy. Less than ten minutes after the denial, a staff member walks by Lemuel's room and notices him vigorously stuffing items into small bag and then stuffing the small bag into a larger bag . . . yeah . . . do I even need to type the end of this story? No. But for my eternally optimistic friends, I will acquiesce. The staff member empties the bags and finds said candy. Uneaten. The staff member instructs Lemuel to empty his pockets and finds empty wrappers. Lemuel hangs his head and through chocolatey teeth says "please don't call my mom. She won't want to bring me home." SIGH . . .
The most fascinating part of this little story is that Lemuel doesn't even LIKE candy. Here at home, his Halloween or Easter candy can sit for months untouched. He might eat a little piece now and then but he is NOT a big fan of sugar.
I have read more than once that children with attachment issues often sabotage any good thing that comes their way. I have to believe that this completely out of character act is, in truth, an attempt to do just that. I am worried about what he may do between now and Friday. I am worried that if it isn't an act of sabotage I now have a thief on my hands - a new side of him to be sure. Not something that would be easy to contend with in a home where keys, loose change, cell phones and snack foods are in no short supply (have I just issued a collective invitation for every marauder in a 50 mile radius to come a-calling?).
Much of the flowery, fluffy, Spirit-driven resolve I have been feeling the last few days evaporated with that phone call. What came flashing back in to my mind was the way our family has been poured out on this kid for years and the return on that investment? Not so good.
Does this act of dishonesty change anything? Not yet. We still do not feel released to go in any other direction so we stay the course. It is with a little less wind in our sails but we press on.
To smile, hug and welcome him home with open arms and cheer is going to take an act of God.
It's a good thing HE lives here, too.