Monday, October 29, 2012

31/21: Bittersweet

Yesterday’s Retro Jessie postwas bittersweet. In typing it up again (the whole series was done on a different and incompatible computer system), the irony of re-posting a letting go piece from 1996 just when we are struggling with that same process right now, left me deflated and somewhat depressed. Perhaps, if it weren’t so close to Halloween or the days were lengthening instead of taking on those long November shadows, the reposting would make me laugh, or just refocus me on the love part.

Instead, my sadness was fed by a Sunday morning sermon on Job and a car full of CDs by women singer-songwriters with dark and love-lost stories of loneliness and aging regrets.  I came home, went to bed, and pulled the covers up over my head. I let my family fend for themselves (I think this made them happy) and in my head argued that I was regenerating positive energy. Or not. Whatever.

Let us just say that there are points in the transition years where I have no idea whatsoever about what we are doing or where we are going. While there is the Jessie-defined North Star—a clear and welcoming vision of a bright and loving future—the getting there is a very bumpy ride with many detours and sinkholes and one-lane reductions. I am very slow at learning what I am supposed to be learning (and obviously have not learned it yet). I know it has to do with letting go, and letting go again, but I also know, because it is Jessie, it has to do with support, and that particular mix for an adult achieving independence is a particularly tricky concoction. 

Oh I wish we still had that Harry Potter potion maker that Jessie got one Christmas, and that in addition to elixirs of life, polyjuice potions, and veritaserums, there was a nicely package potion for parenting into adulthood. But, alas, we sold it at the last garage sale and I am not sure we had any potions left.   

At heart, this transition bit makes me see just how much I struggle with loving and letting go. And I read about other families going through a similar process and find them all so much more, well, positive. And energetic. And loving. And witty! Oh I long to write about this period with wit and humour and good grace. But mostly I just yell. Or answer cell phone requests for redirections after getting on the wrong bus. Or drive to pick up said lost traveller.  

So, for today, I will not detail the yelling Saturday morning we had trying to let natural consequences reign, but will leave you with the only photo we managed to take at the previous evening’s Down Syndrome Association’s annual  general meeting—which is a wonderfully attended dinner dance (free for members!) for families and friends of all ages. 

Jessie and drummer boy sat at a table of more than nine young people their age, and we had to drag them away at the end of the evening. It was a Halloween theme; I can’t remember exactly what drummer boy and Jessie were, except that there was some underlying punk theme. I will post another time about having to read the riot act about dirty dancing at a family dance.      

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