You never know when the tender mercies of God are going to show up but they do at just the right moment. Today one came.
As you probably all know, Ammon asked a beautiful young lady to Salem Hills High School Homecoming dance for this Saturday. Her name is Amelia and she sits by him in his photography class and helps him when he needs help. Without our knowledge (and I mean he hadn't even spoken about it to any of us), he simply asked her if she would be willing to go the dance with him. His courage to ask her face to face really impressed her and she said she would go with him.
That night, Ammon came home from school and said, "I'm going to Homecoming." I replied, "No, I don't think so." He said, "Why not?" I said, "Because this isn't like a junior high dance where you go by yourself. You have to have a date to go to these kinds of dances." He then replied, "Well, I have one. I asked a girl to go with me." "YOU WHAT?!?" I shouted. Oh my heart nearly stopped........... (for so many reasons).
He was very matter of fact about it. I explained that he needed to let us know before he did such a thing and we didn't know the girl and you usually should go with groups as group dating, etc., etc. He then said, "Well, was it a bad thing I did?" No, no it was definitly not a bad thing he did.
I really wasn't sure this girl was actually going to go with him but her mother called me the next evening and we both burst out laughing. It was arranged that Amelia and her mother would come to our house last Saturday morning so we could meet them and discuss plans for the dance. All I can say is that Ammon has fantastic taste in girls!! I was so impressed with her and her attitude of kindness and gentleness. She is beautiful besides. So he has a date. She was going to see if her best friend would ask one of Ammon's friends but that didn't happen. Apparenlty Ammon's friend didn't want to go. So I have been worried about how to let this be an evening of fun for Amelia as well as Ammon. What to do.... what to do.
About an hour ago Andy May, our Young Men's leader called me and said, "Last week on our outing to the dairy, Ammon let something leak out but told us we weren't to say anything to anybody. He told us he had a date for the dance. Does he?" I laughed and said, "He sure does but the girl's friend wasn't able to get a date so they are going alone and that might not be so fun." Andy then said, "Wait, wait.... he does have a group to go with. Garret (Andy's son and the 1st assistant to the Bishop) and Johnny Weakly (neighbor up the street) would like Ammon to go with their group. Would that be ok with you? They know how to work his wheelchair and get him in and out of places so do you think he'd like to go with them?" Are you kidding?! The priests come to the rescue once more.
We need Ammon to understand the social aspects of life and we want him to enjoy his teenage years. We want him to have friends and interact appropriately in public. He does. He is so friendly and kind that he draws people to him. However, he is entering a different phase of his life and it's a place to learn new social skills. I definitely felt like this was a tender mercy that God sent to help Ammon learn some of those skills from some really fantastic young men. I think he will be in heaven next Saturday night.