So, a lot of changes have happened in the December, and many of the focus around Jacob turning 12. In our church, 12 is a big deal, especially for a young boy. For either gender, it means coming out of the kids program, called “Primary” and into the youth program, called “Young Men” or “Young Women”. They do a lot of activities, both separated and together, on Tuesday nights in our ward.
So, Jacob went to his first youth meeting last night.
It’s hard to me to think of him as a pre-teen. In my eyes, he’s still a cute little kid. Of course, when I’m hefting him in and out of bed, or into his wheelchair, I’m painfully reminded every time that he’s not a baby. But he’s still got that pudgy face, and that cute voice. Both he and his brother are starting to outgrow the Disney Channel. I’m actually quite happy about that. There’s only so much Selena Gomez that a grown-up can stomach.
Another big part of turning 12 for a young Mormon boy is getting the Aaronic Priesthood. He’ll become what’s called a “Deacon” and have duties to assist in the church. It’s a rite of passage comparable to becoming an Altar Boy or a Bar Mitzvah.
One of those Aaronic Priesthood duties will be to pass the bread and water at the Sacrament in the meetings each week. His cerebral palsy will require some adaptations. We’ll be installing a desk/tray on his wheelchair so that he can carry the water and bread trays to the rows of pews. His youth leaders had all of the boys do a practice run with him last night, so they’re all better prepared to know what to expect. I really appreciate the extra effort his leaders and putting in to help him fit in. I think it will be the first time in my life that I will ever have seen a person in a wheelchair pass the sacrament.
With Cerebral Palsy there is much that Jacob struggles with, and much that he just can’t do. I’m excited to see that he keeps trying to figure out what he can do.