Raising a special needs child (now young adult) is not for the faint of heart. Those in this tribe with me know the worries about the future, the constant questioning of the current game plan, and the grinding heartache of seeing our other children coast through the world with such ease while our special dear one struggles and almost every turn. Now I’m the lady on the Northeast Regional train from New Haven to Baltimore weeping as all the tension drains out of me. I feel like a puddle of goo. I’ve just spent nine days with my daughter, solidifying her driving skills so that she can get to her job independently. I drove a little hybrid car to leave with her (too small??) and now I’m coming home (too soon??) after covering as many car lessons as I could think of (enough??).
Here’s the insurance and registration
Here’s how to get gas…no, never diesel
Yeah, double parking is technically against the rules…people break that one
Yep, I hate it when you suddenly find yourself in a turn only lane too
Here’s where we’re hiding a key in a magnet box under the car
Here’s how a squidgy works
Here’s how the rear window wiper works
Let’s practice setting up navigation once more
These tags are temporary and here’s how you get the new ones on when they come…never mind, get help on that
Oh no, we didn’t go over how to adjust the mirrors! #*&@!!
Brenna has been living in an independence development community in New Haven for three years and man, was that a game plan I questioned at various points! The place had no system for screen limits and I insisted Brenna have some, leaving our relationship battered. She deeply believed I created the depression she experienced mid-way through her second year. And…maybe I did. That’s all part of it. Constantly questioning the game plan.
But today…today I feel imminently grateful for her program! She is in a job that absolutely suits her, assembling and packaging defibrillators, now part time, but they want her to transition to full time! They love her. THEY LOVE HER! Brenna and I went over who would take which bills and she can actually pay some! Crazy.
And still…I’m tyrannized by wondering if I’ve done enough, if the plan is airtight enough, if she’s ready enough. Several times in the last couple of days of my visit she said, “I?m going to miss you!” This is after three years of “I won’t miss you. And you ruined our relationship anyway.” and me wondering if maybe I did. Oh, hearing this change…I thought my chest might crack open from the swell inside of blended emotions; love, relief, regret, hope. I can scarcely believe we are here. And…we may not stay here, there have been more twists in the road than I can count. But as for the driving, my greatest assurance came when Brenna said, “the voice in my head that might be God is telling me it’s going to be ok.” To that I said, “sounds like God to me”. Then she wiped her tears away, gave me a rib-cracking hug for which she is famous, and she drove off without me.