Closing In On Fall: 8-22-11

September Schedule: When your children are no longer following a school semester schedule (first time in 21 years for us) and you happen into a Staples or even CVS, busting at the seams with frantic moms and distracted kids racing around with baskets full of notebooks and binders, it comes as a shock. Oh no, is summer over? Just about.

School Year Calendar Still Works: This is what happened last week when purchasing a desk blotter calendar and other items for our daughter. And I did choose the school year version. I never really liked the New Year calendar…it just doesn’t compute with the seasons, not really. The social season, the vacation season, the holiday season, the workload season, all follow the school year and it’s starting to look like our daughter’s year will be a rich mix of volunteer jobs, physical activity and social outlets. I put a call in to the ROAR board member today, hoping to progress in sewing up that piece of her vocational life. Also, this week we should hear about her volunteer position at the senior residence. Pegasus may even have a riding slot for her in the Fall, if someone doesn’t return. And she has other great dates: to see Colbie¬†Caillat, her favorite female vocalist, at the local playhouse, perhaps a Broadway show with her auntie and the weekly local outings that the Ability Beyond Disability staff plan for her and her apartment-mate.

Lyme Disease and Butterflies: I nearly missed something critical this week. The staff was planning on the girls going on a butterfly walk yesterday and being so pleased whenever nature and exercise are the intended activity, I lost track of something key: our daughter had severe Lyme Disease the year prior to her attending boarding school, with a recurrence the following year. Oops! Though this is part of her medical history, it dawned on me just two days prior to the walk, that the staff and our daughter would need clear instructions on dress and tick spray (Deet), the whole protocol including the after-walk tick check, shower and re-check. Fortunately I pulled the whole thing together in time (What the heck was I thinking?) and all went off well. But as my girlfriend, with whom we stayed in Maine this past weekend, said to me, “Why don’t you just say no, she can’t go? Is it worth the risk?”

Parenting is Risky: Now that is a big question! And where my mind went was to the families who take risks with children suffering from seizure disorders or other life threatening conditions making daily choices to let their children live as normal a life as possible with the hope that luck will be with them along with the safeguards and vigilance that they put in place. For me, just walking in a parking lot reminds me that our daughter could easily be struck by a vehicle in the most benign of situations because of her lack of spatial alertness in pedestrian situations. Yes, she has people with her at all times, but are they infallible? Nope, parenting is risky business. So is life. Fingers crossed we will all be lucky. And forgiving. We do the very best we can, most of the time. And by the way, the ABD staff were great with the Lyme requests, did all that was asked and our daughter did too.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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