Nick loves to work.  He is always asking if he can help get pans out when we are cooking, or get the dishes out of the dishwasher or putting wood in our fireplace.

He also has a formal job, with a job coach.  He shreds papers in an office for a few hours each week.  His job coach removes staples and other fasteners and then he shreds the papers.  He talks about the papers he is shredding and sing songs with his job coach.  It is fun to listen to them.

Nick has always loved stacking things since he learned how to do it in physical therapy all those years ago.  He will stack a variety of things.  He calls it building his pile.  He loves to collect brochures when we are out and about and brings them home to put in his pile.

In fact, if anything “goes missing” in the house, we have learned that we need to look in his pile in his room.  Often the item is in there.  We have found bank statements, other mail we have received, even checks.  One time my cell phone was lost and I dialed the number to try and find it.  Nick told me that his pile was ringing.  He had “forgotten” that he put my phone in there.

For awhile the pile was huge, it was taking over his room and his closet.  We had a friend install a closet organizer and we told Nick that the only place he could build his pile was on one of the bigger shelves.  It made it easier to manage for us.  He would put everything in there and then pull it all out again and resort it on his bed and re-stack it again.  He is happy doing this task for hours.

Starting a couple of years ago, when we asked him what he was doing in his room, he began telling us that he was working.

One afternoon, I sat on his bed and watched him work.  He was taking papers and moving them from one pile to another one.  Then he was sorting other items, sometimes holding it in his hands for a few minutes, then placing it carefully in another location.  It reminded me of what it must look like to him when he is sitting in my office when I tell him to be quiet because I am working.  I am an accountant.  I take papers from one pile and put them into another pile and then I sort other piles back to the original piles.  It makes me laugh.

Nick learned about working by watching me.  He even is a little bit of a workaholic, sometimes he chooses to work over watching TV or other relaxing things.  I also know how he learned that too.  This self-evaluation has been another opportunity for me to review my priorities and time commitments, and make changes.  It is another lesson that Nick has taught me.

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