Off To The City, Feeling A Little Giddy: 8-4-11

Facebook Cheering Squad: Before I head off to NYC, I must report that viewing my Facebook page and seeing the comments folks send to my daughter, comments from family, her friends, my friends and her brother’s friends, touches me deeply. I posted photos of the girls’ “installation” into their new abode and the feedback, “love your room” and the like, makes her feel great. As always, gratitude to all of you for cheering her on.

Networking Pro: Yesterday afternoon our daughter called to tell me that she ran into the art teacher from our local High School at the concert in Ridgefield Tuesday night. She was proud to forward regards to her mom and her brother from this lovely woman. The networking this girl is doing in her new town is awesome.

Schedule: This week so far our daughter has attended two days of DSO (Day Service Options) at the ABD headquarters and one day of residential, which is a bit amorphous. I think the day is designed for errands and doctors’ appointments and household tasks. On this individualized residential day she went to the Ridgefield Park and Recreation and spent forty minutes on the treadmill. I loved her time specificity, forty minutes. Cool.

Today: While I head off to NYC our daughter will be working at the Ridgefield library and walking the track at the Park and Recreation. Normally she would be swimming laps but her “swimmer’s ear” prevents that activity for now. I am not sure what else is planned but I know that the evening activity is Sphere, the theater and art group that she and her apartment-mate love. I am eager to see how our daughter paints the papier-mâché dog head that she made last week. If I were home from the city early enough, I would stop to see her and the head. But I will probably be driving north on the Westside Drive around the time the group breaks up. Oh well, I can’t have it all. Friday we have our luncheon outing so I can catch up on her life then. I hate to miss a single bit of it but I do love the freedom.

My Role? I am feeling my way here in this first week of residential life. How much input do they need from me? And how much is generated by the staff and our daughter? I have forwarded on to staff the monthly listing of Ridgefield town activities that I receive via email and the staff has hopped on it already. I texted the residential staff regarding shaving and nail care issues. No response as yet. The weekend is coming up and now I am really clueless. Will our daughter ask to see us, or will we invite her out? I am curious to see how this first weekend unfolds. Possibly my husband and I will show up at her Pegasus session on Saturday morning. Somehow I feel that if she is on a horse, shouldn’t we be there? I will probably get over that too. My hunch is she will call with her idea of an activity, shopping, a movie, visiting someone with us. She did this periodically while away at school and she has a gracious manner when she does extend an invite.

Her Brother and Her Dog: Those are the two she has always asked about throughout her years at boarding school. I assume that will continue. The brother and the dog. Makes sense to me.

Unfinished Decorating: And the apartment isn’t finished. The other mom and I have to pick out an area rug, maybe some curtains, a side table. Our daughter needs wall art and so far is refusing her Dad’s many wonderful paintings. She usually prefers a Johnny Depp poster to oil paintings of lush landscapes and Parisian bridges. Staff, having heard of her dad’s talents, are mightily interested and want to hang some on the wall space in the living room. Cable isn’t available yet, (remember, new wiring needed) but temporary Wi-Fi is in place. I have not heard a single complaint so far from said daughter. Pretty good, pretty pretty good.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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