A Full Moon? Was it the full moon last night? Sure looked and felt that way to me. While on route to my oil change our daughter text me “I’m having an off day.” When I called she greeted me sobbing hysterically. I could barely make out what she was saying but recognized enough words to determine that an incident occurred with a DSO group leader. Since she was in transit, and her residential staff driving, we postponed our conversation until we all had reached our destination, which for me was the bleak waiting room of the Toyota service department. Fitting.
An Asteroid, An iPhone Or A Hangover: There was nothing new here. Not really. Her group went bowling but our gal was otherwise engaged with her new phone rather than “the task at hand,” busily texting and presumably ignoring repeated warnings to desist and focus on the game. Words ensued, and when the residential staff arrived, the disconcerted, as in “pissed” I assume, group leader talked “behind my back” describing our daughter as rude and fresh. Oh boy. “Mom, can I see you.” Frankly I have never heard her so enraged or outraged in all our years of “moments” such as these. Could it be the full moon, or the asteroid hurling toward our planet that evening, too much birthday hangover or embarrassment and shame. “I couldn’t stop Mom, and she called it a toy. It is not a toy. It’s a phone.”
The Question? Three hours later, during which time I made a couple of calls, and listened to our daughter vent while driving her to Goodwill, at her request, (her coping resource has always been shopping,) to donate her old winter coat and some PJ’s, waited while she poked through stuff, choosing three items, spotting with her keen eye a slightly worn Vera Bradley purse which she paid for with birthday funds, she agreed to handle this dispute like a grown up. The question I asked myself, moments after I agreed to come by, was what should my role be here? Do I end up gratifying a “naughty girl?” Do I exacerbate the hysteria by my presence. Do I undermined staff? I discussed this with the residential head in one of the phone calls while sitting in the Toyota waiting room, with the coffee canisters and creamers on a table close by tempting me to drown my frustrations in bad caffeine. She had no answers either just “Well, you’re the parent so whatever you think is best.” Huh?
Answer Anyone? I still don’t have the answer even as I write this at 5 a.m. this morning, up since 3:30 doing downward dog stretches on the yoga mat while the real item sleeps soundly close by on her leopard spotted bed. No answer, just another day. Another asteroid.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011