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Saturday, December 12, 2009

*&^%$. The Christ Child has just shown up. OK, you can have a manger if you go through a metal detector and background check first

Hello? Mombeforeyousaynopleasehearmeout.

This rush of words surged into my ears just before I left work last night. And of course, I tensed. What exactly was Jennifer going to ask? Unlike what I thought (going out with a boy I'd never met, a new sweater, spending the night somewhere) she had an entirely different request that left me speechless. At the "nos" to the predetermined requests faded.

"I was wondering if Jason could sleep over tonight."


As a back story to this, I'd heard about Jason before. He's a friend of Jennifer's. Almost b-friend, but then they just decided to be friends. Jennifer's described him as a male version of herself. He's with a foster family now - who from varying reports, sometimes treats him well, sometimes not. His birthmom is a drug addict, in jail, I think and at one time wanted drugs so badly, she gave Jason to the dealers as collateral. Jennifer said he wont' talk about that part of his life. Just that he'd been abused.

Anyway, long story short, his foster family had left for the night (no, she didn't know what left meant) and Jason didn't have a key to the house. All his guy pals, his wrestling coach, everyone, refused him a couch. He was going to spend the night in the park, before Jennifer heard of this plan and said she'd see if he could stay with us.

Great. Now,sleeping in a park at these temps or any temps really was out of the question. Buying him a hotel room was out of the question, and yes, my church in currently hosting Kent's homeless guys in an attempt with other churches to sort of duck the city's stupid zoning laws. But that seemed chickenshit. But the real question, was could he sleep on our couch and come into the home for the night.

*&^^%$. How was I going to tell me daughter, who has seen me insist that the true test of one's faith is how you deal with inconvenient instances, "no" to this. Yet, I'd never met this guy. I was was vaguely wondering..ok, not so vague here... if we'd be safe with a kid that had obviously gone through some horrible experiences in his life. Lock J's door. Hide the knives?Fuckfuckfuck.

"He's not allergic to cats or dogs is he," I ask, with a shameful amount of hope in my voice.


OK, fine. He can come, but let me ask your dad first (who is usually the no of last resort). But of course, Gary said yes. That's one of the reasons I married him.

"Wait, you mean his foster family just left him w/o a key?" Gary said.

Well, yes, they did. And no, I dont' know why.

Oh, Jennifer adds on another phone call, he's at a wrestling tourney until 9 pm tonight, could we go pick him up. And he has to be back at the school at 5 am on Saturday, but Jason says he'll walk back to school (yeah, right, an hour walk in freezing cold temps. not likely).

Fine, fine fine. We'll pick him up, we'll drop him off. Has he eaten anything lately?

So about 9:30 pm, Jason arrives at the house (he's found a ride from a friend) and promptly talks non-stop about wrestling. Nope, not hungry. Finally about 11 pm, I order them to bed, saying at this point we're all getting 4 hours sleep. He looks at me, surprised. I get the feeling he doesn't get too many orders to turn off the tv and get to bed.

I later realize that he's probably as wary of us, as we might be of him. J told me this morning that he lay away for 2 hours after he flopped on the couch. I also had a renewed appreciation of my hubby's manners, when I almost fell into the toilet this morn, because Jason had left the seat up.

At 4 am, the alarm rings, gary throws on his clothes and warms up the car today. I crawl out of bed, well aware that my hair is standing on end and the sash for my robe is actually a scarf- I can't find the tie. I tell him he's eating b-fast for fuel and make him eggs, 4 strips of bacon and toast, which he wolfs down. Gary makes him drink oj.

Then off they go into the night. Later, Jennifer said that Jason wistfully asked if he could stay over again sometime. He had fun.

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