Busy First Day Of Adult Phase 1: Our daughter had her lunch meeting with future apartment mate and six ABD team members yesterday at the Olive Garden. The other mother was working so when I showed up with our daughter, the team asked me if I wanted to stay (I didn’t) but I bowed to our daughter’s wishes, and she said she wanted me to go. Good girl. Apparently they talked about aspects of life ahead, the girls’ interests, mutual and otherwise (our daughter likes museums; the other young lady, not so much) and other subjects. A great perk of the afternoon was that the service coordinator offered to bring our daughter back home, which enabled me to do three more loads of laundry in the interim.
The Phone Call: I was getting pretty antsy about the apartment. Originally we were told we would hear Friday, then Saturday. Truly I was pretty down-hearted, not just soggy from all the rain but emotionally water-logged. Never one to give up hope, even when none was precisely in sight, I emailed the broker and asked whether no news might be good news. Ten minutes after our daughter came home and I was chatting with her service coordinator in the living room, I heard my cell phone ring. It was the broker, we got it. OMG. I couldn’t believe it.
The Long And Winding Road: This search really began over a year ago when I took a group of Riverview parents to see an apartment complex in Wilton, Connecticut with the hope that some of them would join us in creating a living arrangement there. When that failed to bear fruit, I switched my focus to Ridgefield, Connecticut which I realized had a thriving adult special needs community and a caring inclusive town. The search continued sporadically for several more months and then heated up in the last three months when the future apartment mates were compatibly paired together by DDS and the other mother and I began a heavy-duty search.
Is This Real? If this really goes through, fingers crossed and double crossed, a big chunk of the journey has ended in success. And just one day after the graduation, pretty powerful poetics here. What is that song, Dream On, Dream On? We did and maybe we are awakening to a dream come true. Sounds sappy, but to get what is needed is not just a wave of the wand here.
Near Mom and Dad, Safe Neighborhood, Great Town, Clean Apartment and Awesome Team of Service Providers: The lease would start this week, June 15, even before the ladies are officially ABD clients. That begins July 1. No matter. Our daughter was thrilled when I shouted out the news to her, jumping up and down and telling a friend on the phone. But then reality hit. “You mean I would move in during the summer?” Yep. “I thought it wouldn’t be until the Fall.” That was possible too. “But that is soon.” Yep. But we will take our time setting up. And you will be twenty minutes away, can come home and sleep over. She was not prepared for this rapid departure from “home”, when she had just arrived and was ready for “summer fun.”
She will have plenty of summer frolic. You can be sure. Tons of it. Wednesday we go to a Broadway show. At the end of the month, she will spend a week in Florida with her cousin. And this coming weekend is a big birthday party for Dad which includes a welcome home for her as well. A dear family friend, I told her, lives only five doors down from her future apartment. She asked, “Is she coming to Dad’s party?” Yep. “Can I tell her when she comes?” Yep. But who can blame her. This is sudden and she is scared, as when you miss a step coming down the stairs and though you land on your feet, it is jolting.
Flexible: If we do get the apartment, one visit there and she will be shocked by the grown up yet cozy home to be she and her friend will share. As Riverview Head of School Ms. Brenner reminds her students ,”Be flexible.” Flexible. But please don’t let us be disappointed. Make it work this time.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011