Saturday, August 13, 2011

End of Summer

She's back. With her laundry. These loads I do (Jessie usually does her own laundry) because we are trying to get back out the door to head to Montreal and then Maine for two weeks. Where we don't have internet access! Hooray! Ciao all!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Off to Camp

We just dropped Jessie—along with her sleeping bag, rubber boots, and a bag of clothes—off at the buses leaving for Camp Misquah. She’s been looking forward to a full week in a lakeside cabin with friends and high-energy counselors. Misquah has certainly become a traditional part of her summer life.

Country Gal, Black Belt Belle, Lady Lyrics, and Jessie
While some of the campers waved a tearful goodbye to their parents, Jessie made a beeline from our car to the check-in location and then bounded off to find friends and returning counselors. We were really only there to schlep her bags, I guess. She was, however, happy to wave at us from the window as the bus departed and we parents and caregivers were left, a bedraggled lot, to head out variously to delightful vacations of our own or much needed house and garden repairs.

I always feel a bit anxious at the empty space that yawns open after we drop her off, and have, over the years, found different ways adjust and cope. Today Dan and I decided to go straight to the grocery store.

On our way there I told Dan that I was feeling quite sad. “It’ll pass,” he said. I wondered how long it might take and if my sadness would ruin our time together. By the time we entered the store and I got to the produce section, I was feeling anxious. Jessie, the touchstone of my days, was gone and I wasn’t sure how it would all unfold. Would I be able to focus on anything? Would I be kind and loving with Dan or keep thinking about Jessie and her life and her future and whether she had remembered to change her underwear?

I was distracted and wandered behind Dan as he put lettuce and bread and cheese into the cart. I drifted down aisle 1 and thought about how I might not have to fight over my computer for a whole week. That made me smile.

At aisle 4 I remembered that we needed some salad dressing and it occurred to me that for a whole week, we could actually put tomatoes in the salad (Jessie doesn’t like tomatoes).

At aisle 9, I was madly flinging packages of black licorice and Junior Mints into the grocery cart to accompany Dan and I to all the movies we were going to see together.

Nine aisles, that’s all it took. I guess I’m just a resilient kind of gal!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Channeling the Power

Jessie has had, and continues to have, a variety of goals for her future. While there is an underlying current that relates to the arts and performance, the flavours of the month day rival, in range and creativity, those on offer by the Baskin Robbins ice cream chain.

Generally her identified passion and career choice derives from whatever movie/TV show she has just watched. From Spy Kids (a spy, of course) to Harry Potter (a wizard) to Little Women (a writer, complete with oil lamp), to Bring it On (a cheerleader), to the Jonas Brothers (a lyricist), to Glee (this one is a little more convoluted and involves travelling to LA with Dan /Dad where he gets a job as a scriptwriter on Glee and writes her into the script so that there are TWO actors with Down syndrome and she is the new love interest for Finn).

As she has matured (sic) and moved into a life phase where she is expected to be a little bit more reality-based in her choices, she often states that her desire is to act, advocate, and/or dance. All things she has had some experience and success with; all things that she has figured out that we have a more positive response to (i.e., it does not precipitate parental eye-rolling or large exasperated sighs).

Of course she continues to throw us loops—such as a consistent urge to follow her passion: her music career. (Hmmmm, where is that chromosome related to singing on key? Certainly not on the 21st you say?) Or a more recent desire to give up dancing professionally (which she does, dance professionally that is, with Propeller Dance) so she can spend more time with Drummer Boy, her boyfriend, and they can work on their combined music careers (he is also considering a career playing with the National Hockey League, so they are not 100% sure about the music thing. )

This week however, I’m glad to see that all our discussions about talent, passion, reality, and the 10,000 hour rule are really paying off! She and some friends went to see X-Men on Monday and I got this text:

I wonder if our college savings will cover it?