Well, I would like to say that I’m closer to being ready than I was five days ago, and I am…but not as ready as I thought I would be. Life, as usual, intervenes with the progress of all my preparations, and I find myself fine-tuning even as I go along.
J is happily oblivious to all the planning and re-planning that I’m doing, and he basically ignores all grown-up conversations that relate to the upcoming transition. Granted, this is in part due to the fact that we have not once used the word SCHOOL in our conversations regarding the matter. We have become the masters of word substitution. We have even taken to quoting Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin and imitating Owl when he says that Christopher Robin “has gone to S-C-H-O-O-L! [gasps] Skull!” In short, we’ve become ridiculous.
J knows something is about to change significantly, and he has decided that, for the time being anyway, he will not let go of wearing his snow boots. They comfort him. We’re not going to press the issue because it’s not worth it.
Yes, I know…life cannot always be comfortable for J, but…this I’m willing to give him leeway for. It’s just snow boots. If he steps on us, yes, it hurts, but that’s a relatively small price to pay for a little comfort for our son.
While we have not really seen TGG more than three times since he moved out (and, believe me, the times we HAVE seen him have been far from pleasant,) we know that J has acclimated to this change. The first few days were rough, but we’ve found the balance, and now we can actually mention TGG’s name without eliciting negativity or anxiety in J. That, my friends, is progress.
Another plus is that we now have a J-sitter…or a J-companion…or a presence that allows us a brief respite here and there. Well, technically, we have TWO. A neighbor recommended her dog walker as a potential helper, and -after a brief interview- we invited her and her husband to dinner. Our helper is a young, pretty med student. She is barely a year older than year, and we wanted to make sure that both she and her spouse would feel comfortable with the arrangement. When you are looking for a babysitter, the requirements are of one sort; when you are seeking for a person who will keep your adult son company while you have some “me” time, the requirements are different. We wanted to make sure that both our helper and her husband knew that we care as much about their comfort with the situation as we care about J’s.
And that’s how we ended up with two companions rather than one. That is: one afternoon a week, SHE comes over and helps with J, but if we’re going on a “date night” they BOTH come over and hang out with him. We leave dinner ingredients, and they cook and eat. It was tremendously comforting to find J sitting at the table eating balsamic chicken and couscous with chard in a totally relaxed and happy mood.
To be frank with you, we had been planning an escalation of food bribes if the first outing didn’t work out: duck, crab, veal, lobster, leg of lamb… Yes, we are shamelessly in need of a break here and there, and we’re not afraid to go to any gastronomic lengths to achieve it. We can tell that J is a fixture wherever we go because when we showed up at the bookstore on a Saturday evening without him the booksellers were saying “hey! You’re on your own tonight!!!!” We felt compelled to explain that J was at home and happily hanging out with people closer to him in age than we are.
And so we reach fifteen days to the last day…
The list of things is still long.
The level of chaos waxes and wanes.
We’ll figure it out.