Friday, July 9, 2010

The Road to Independence Is Paved with . . . Boulders

We are surviving the heat wave, barely. But it is certainly testing our plan and our patience. While the picture here was taken many years ago, she cycles in and out of that “you can’t make me” phase. It’s an appropriate image for many of our mornings so far this summer.

Today, Jessie went off to H’Art studios for the day. She will have 3 days there next week, journaling and painting, which she is really looking forward to.

We left the house at 8:50 to get there shortly after 9, when it opens (note, I’m trying to get her there as soon after it opens as possible—say no more, say no more). I’m driving her because the bus routes are not simple and it would be just one more thing to argue about (But I don’t WANT to take the bus, I want YOU to drive me). We get out of the car and walk toward the Bronson Centre, where the studio is located. As soon as we walk in the door I ask her if she remembers what floor it’s on (I really don’t remember!).
WHY are you asking ME where it is?” she complains.
“I was just wondering if you remembered, because I don’t.”
We stand there. (Stand off more like it.) I am waiting for her to figure out that she has to look at the directory in the front hall. She is waiting for ME to tell her where to go (I will not succumb to that easy one-liner).

We wait. I give in and walk over to the directory and mimic scanning it with my finger. I am trying so hard to lead her without pushing her, to teach her without forcing her, to support her without, well, without strangling her! As my finger reaches H’Art 3rd Floor, she nods and heads off but then stops, looking around to figure out which hallway to go down.

I stand behind her, willing her NOT to ask me where to go.

“Which way do I go?”

I am silent. Gently silent I think. I am breathing in and out, saying my mantra, hoping that in the silence she will find an answer!

She looks around and sees the sign on the stairwell that says 3rd floor.

Ta-da! She opens the door and I say a silent prayer thanking God/ess for all his/her beneficence.

She holds the door open for me (brownie points), and then says “You go first.”

“Nope,” I say. “You lead. This is your activity. You need to know where to go when I drop you off tomorrow.”

“I don’t want to know where to go.” (Figure that one out!)

”Jess, it’s just like you’re going on your own.”

She knows where I am leading with this one.

“But I don’t WANT to work on my independence skills!”

I sigh. Consider my options. It’s too early in the morning for me to lose it, really. So I laugh. Outloud. That’s the mistake.

WHY are you LAUGHING?”

“It’s the better and least dangerous choice,” I answer, oh so proud of myself for choosing laughter over lamentation.

And so the day begins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm anxious to hear how Jess likes her three days at H'art! We have friends in Kingston, whose 12 year old son has Ds, and he is spending M-TH every week at H'art. He's actually a very good artist as his mom.

I commend you on your patience and humor. ;)