Post-Traumatic Momma; Completing The Quilt: 10-12-11

Sewing It Up: Happily, today I received a call from the ABD vocational director who has finalized the hiring of the missing piece, that vocational staff person whose presence is necessary to complete the quilt of our daughter’s daily adult life. A couple of weeks ago the ladies met her and she now has even completed the application for the clearance check required by the senior residence, Ridgefield Crossings, where an elderly lady and her cat have been awaiting our daughter’s arrival for six weeks. ROAR, the animal shelter, is also on board to train our daughter and her life skills staff person next weekend. If all goes as planned, our daughter should be in two more vocational volunteer jobs by Halloween. Yippee.

Katy Perry: Our daughter, the star magnet, as I mentioned before, has been invited to attend the Katy Perry concert in November, part of Ms. Perry’s North American California Dreams Tour. Great as that sounds, I feel some trepidation. She has never been to Madison Square Garden, a much bigger venue then she is accustomed to, and her escorts are two gorgeous sisters who are close friends’ of a dear cousin, but not super familiar to our daughter. They bonded over several family events and adore her humor and “girl-in-the-know” style along with mutual admiration of Ms. Perry.

Timing: I won’t be there, at least not at the concert. I did provide these lovely escorts with all the information on how to guide our daughter through streets and parking lots, grandstands and such. They promised not to lose her and I believe them. But…it is still a month or so away and I am debating when to get into the details of the evening with our daughter. I am never sure how much advance notice is optimal to go over plans. Probably a week is plenty. Otherwise anticipatory anxiety around an “unknown”, in this case the venue and to some degree, the ladies, details regarding who is driving, who is picking up, where to eat, and what time will she return to Connecticut can become overwhelming for our daughter (though she will generate the questions). She is capable of bowing out of the mission at any point or working herself up into a lather for days at a time and bringing me along with her.

Post-Traumatic Momma: We have been down this road hundreds of times…over two decades and frankly I am traumatized for life. I have been schooled in how to prepare our daughter for changes and transitions by experts yet I have learned that there is no fail-safe method. What perhaps is the most useful mantra of all is for me not to get too invested in the success of the mission. I can get sidetracked by worries of disappointing those caring souls who want to treat our daughter to a special night, or projecting my own attraction to the event onto my daughter so that I am often crushed when the mission fails, though our daughter usually walks away from the wreckage with no regrets.

Invested For Good: I also know that my determination to get her to events, classes, outings and all manner of opportunity was necessary for the launch into adulthood. Sometimes you are invested for good.

Message To Mom: Stay cool man (West Side Story). Real Cool.

P.S. 3:30 P.M. My daughter just called to tell me she was dressed (“in my periwinkle shirt from the gap; denim skirt from Marshalls, and Calvin Klein shoes.”) and is ready to depart the apartment at 4:15 or 4:30 (which was told to her but she repeated as 4:14 or 4:40, stuck on the fours) on route to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate her apartment-mate’s birthday. The Susan G. Komen Foundation raspberry and hearts bathrobe gift (from Forever 21) is in the bag and a card still needs to be created and enclosed. No anxiety here, just investment and excitement! Fingers crossed, she can approach the Katy Perry night with some modicum of the eagerness that she displays for this event. Oh well, time will tell. Cool it mom. Sure!

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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