Ah, the relaxation of a retreat, and the reality of reentry – to a life that’s rich but messy.
The parents retreat taught me much, but it didn’t mean the boys suddenly greeted me in full sentences. Nor was I spared from dirty dishes, a carpet strewn with foam beads – the favorite pastime of the year – or food steal attempts as soon as we were home. The guys still required prompting to say goodbye to their sister who’d lovingly cared for them and even figured out how to use the snowblower through 14 inches of new white stuff so the driveway was clean enough to enter with a car. Neither one wanted to jump up and practice their “push” word by shoveling the sidewalk – although they did accompany the daughter while she snowblowed, which was amazing given the near gale force winds.
New Facebook friends greeted me after the weekend which was sweet, and made the memories linger. But one not so favorable learning was noting that many of the parents I respect did not have their post-22 kids in day programs – they built their own. Nor were they even considering group homes or other group residential settings. Many experts on my team encourage both, and I supposed to some extent I have been planning that as well – although I’ve kicked the can down the road a decade or more with residential aspects.
Yes, most certainly I truly want what’s best for each boy’s long term interests. But wow, custom-creating two active day programs for guys with different interests, while regardless of income needs, I know I need intellectual engagement beyond autism? – Hmmm.
I have to trust the wisdom I know is inside me, as those others have done. And that while there are paths through the wilderness, I have the ability to choose from among the many – and ask for help in the storm.