Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Couple of Days, Just Ordinary Days

This blog entry is about, well, nothing in particular other than a quick survey of how some days go. I have no theme, no burning observations, no particular point, other than to give you a small picture of a few days of Jessie’s life. This was a much more laid-back weekend than normal, but that’s because it was bracketed by holidays on Friday (a PD day for Jess) and Monday (Family Day here in Canada).

A Street View Friday
Jessie had a school holiday on Friday, so arranged (with the help of Storefront and an event planning checklist) to meet some friends from school to go bowling. As it was a new bus route, we did the half-support option: this involves Jessie doing most of it herself, but having quiet support in the background (me driving behind, being there as she gets off buses and makes transfers just in case . . . but not actively telling her what to do). As we were planning this route (the # 1 to 1st Avenue, then the #6 to Westboro) I realized that I could use street view on Google maps and I could show her what the street corner would look like when she got off the bus and where she needed to go next. This was an amazing help and allowed her to orient herself (without any support!) when she got off the bus and head either to the next stop, or to the bowling lanes. Brilliant! She went bowling with friends, I went Nordic walking, and then I picked her up when it was over (as the bus home was more complicated and with longer intervals between). In an ideal world (with an ideal mother and an ideal transportation system), she probably could have learned how to walk to the closest transit station (not bus stop) and taken the quick bus home, but welcome to our less than ideal world! We pushed her outside her comfort zone a bit, did a bit of learning, and she had fun with friends. Then we headed home in time for Jess to walk over to Julia and Krysia’s (where she also does music on Sundays) to join them for dinner and to talk about fashion design and the possibility of Krysia teaching her how to sew.

A Dramatic Saturday
When she got home Friday night, she worked on the character study homework she had for her drama class on Saturdays (at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama) so she could be ready at 8am to go to the airport to meet Rachel, her “best friend since elementary school” with Cathy (Rachel’s mom and my friend and saviour in many a challenging situation) and Rebecca (Rachel’s younger sister and a brilliant friend to Jess as well). Cathy had invited Jessie to go with them to pick up Rachel—who was coming home from Halifax for reading week—go out to breakfast and then go back to their house to hang with the girls until it was time for her to go to drama. We do have the usual food discussion the night before and Cathy is always primed to give a little guidance as she has ridden the food roller coaster with us numerous times—the short version being that Jessie is very impulsive when it comes to food and LOVES to eat!

I was off at a meditation workshop most of the day, assuming (as I usually can with Cathy) that all would go according to plan, or if not, would be rescued appropriately. And it did! The drama referenced in the title had nothing to do with life, but only with the class. My meditation workshop finished in time for me to drive to Westboro to pick up Dan and Jessie. (Note: Dan and I usually squeeze our ‘date’ into these 2 hours on Saturday afternoon where we laze about—and on more than once instance have even been observed napping—in the sunny window of a local Bridgehead coffee shop reading old NY Times book reviews.) After drama, Jessie is psyched to write some more of her character study and so she goes to her room to write on the computer until dinner and family movie night. Some Saturdays, when Jess isn’t out at a friends or a dance or we don’t have anyone over, we try to hold on to family movie nights where we watch a movie together and I try not to fall asleep.

A Laid-Back Sunday
I leave early on Sunday mornings to go to church, with the open invitation for either or both Dan and Jess to join me. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. This Sunday was a singleton for me, Dan and Jess stayed at home cleaning bathrooms and doing chores. A blessing indeed! After lunch, Jess headed off to music while I finished blessing the house for Cathy, Rachel, and Rebecca who were coming over for vegetarian lasagna, salad, strawberries, and home made chocolate sauce! We celebrated Rebecca staying upright for 24 hours (she is having fainting spells lately, which started after giving blood a week or so ago) and watched the first two episodes of Life Goes On that Cathy and the girls gave Jessie for Christmas. For those who aren’t familiar with the series, it was a wonderful fairly typical family TV drama that had as a main character, a young man with Down syndrome (Corky, played beautifully by Chris Burke). Watching it now, it still is very cutting edge—in that Corky is in a regular class at a regular high school—and deals with the issues of inclusion and equality with a fairly open hand. I don’t know now if I find this inspiring or depressing—while the mullets and big glasses made us all laugh, the issues felt current, not dated.

A Movie Monday
On Monday, we all laid low. Jessie had a friend over from school for a Zac Ephron movie extravaganza and we didn’t deal with chores or calendars or To Do lists at all. Or not until she went to look at her chore book from school and realized that she probably hadn’t done the requisite number of chores. Students at Storefront are required to do two chores a day. These chores are based on a list provided by Storefront and are tracked in a student's chore book and need to be signed off by a parent and the student. Parents are only to sign if the chore has been done a) properly, b) independently (with a little wiggle room if first learning the chore), and c) with a positive attitude. This caused a meltdown (but I don’t WANT to not have 6 chores, it’s not fair, then I’ll have to do everyone else’s chores, it’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair). Dan did remind me that it was not the time to give her a proper definition of fair.

We did manage, somehow, to get to bed still loving each other. And I did give Jess her usual bedtime Buddhist blessing. That is how I will start the blog tomorrow: with a blessing, and hopefully, it will be blessedly short (the blog entry that is!).

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

Blessings and peace be upon you, Nan, and the readers of this blog.

Wow! Reading about the bowling, the sewing, the friends, and how Life Goes on is relevant 20 years on.

And that delicious meal with Cathy and the two Rs (Rebecca and Rachael, who I remember from the summer).

Google Earth: isn't that amazing? Needs magnification if the route is not known well. It goes through each place and obstacle.

And the Krysia sewing possibility? Stay tuned?