Outfitting For Adulthood: Yesterday, the sunny sleepy summer kind of day, our daughter was content to loll around the house, regrouping from a hectic first week of Ability Beyond Disability programming, two very social nights at home, and an energizing yet ultimately enervating sidewalk sales event the previous day. Unfortunately for her, Mom has a schedule and she is on it. Sunday was to be sheets, comforter and towel selection day.
Ruthless and Misguided Momma: My success rate for this sort of imposed demand on my daughter over our 21 years together is probably 50 percent. The other fifty percent of the time she never rallies and I am left feeling heartless, ruthless and misguided. She didn’t have her heart in the mission and the store we chose, based on a generous gift certificate from some cousins, failed to entice her with its selection. I was pretty wiped myself; time constraints and a clear message from the residential coordinator that Connecticut’s new DDS category of residential programming, CRS (Continuous Residential Supports For Young Adults), though it provides more flexibility (as in allowing parents to select the residence) also reduces funding, allocations were pressing on me. More importantly, in order to justify the funding and staff, the girls have to be in the apartment by August 1st. In other words, the sands of time for setting up the young ladies’ pad were running out.
The Selfish/Selfless Parent Paradox: Thus, we, the two sets of parents, have to supply everything, (ABD has offered to help us look for second-hand furniture and other items) including all kitchen equipment, cutlery, plates, as well as furnishings (we could do used but we want fresh and new). With August 1st looming mighty close, the other mother, who had to attend to pressing family matters, gave me the go ahead to provision the girl’s kitchen. That was my end of Sunday’s mission and in my merciless way, I did so, with our daughter tolerating the process right down to my driving over to her apartment to unload the pots, the pans, the spatula, garlic press, mixing bowls, can opener, measuring cups. You get the idea. Oops forgot the carrot peeler and potholders. (I did refuel said daughter with a Wendy’s chicken sandwich and, by the time we were headed home, the poor kid was laid back snoring in the passenger seat.)
Here’s the question: was I being selfish or selfless? This was all for her yet it was all for me. I am frequently confronting that parental paradox. Helping our children, even when they don’t want it, what is that?
Plans; A Special Olympics Skater Comes To Visit: Our daughter is already set to receive a peer guest to her new apartment. On August 5, five days after move-in, her school buddy is coming down from Massachusetts with her mom to have lunch and visit the new apartment. This is a mom who is two years short of the “aging out” rigmarole and has closely watched our journey. A future pairing of the girls, or adding her daughter to our mix, would be ideal, but as they live in Massachusetts, it is out of the question. Funding does not cross state borders. A cross between Pippi Longstocking and Eloise At The Plaza, this is a redhead who is always laughing, wears cool clothes and skates her way to medals. She is one of my faves and would be the perfect topping on this awesome cake we’ve been baking of a life. Oh well. We mustn’t be greedy.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011