Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thinking about Helen

I do a lot of Tweeting and less blogging these days. That means that less shows up on the blog (unless you read the tweet box .... lower right hand corner) and the stories can feel, as one person wrote me, like they are missing chapters.

I still feel sad that Helen isn't here, but I do feel really good about what we were able to do for her. On Friday the plan was for her spend the weekend with us and would be taken to her as yet unidentified new home on Monday. I was to intervene and get a commitment that she would stay with us until her plan was worked out. I learned about the B's on Friday and was able to tell her a little bit about them. So she spent the weekend knowing that she could end up living with us or moving to a family that shares her religious tradition and is near her high school.

Tuesday evening she visited with them. They watched the home-town university team win a football game, something that never happens in this house. She met their various animals and painted the toe-nails of the little girls during half-time. Mrs. B had read many of the books she had and they had good conversations. On Wednesday she and her social worker talked and decided she was going to move in with the B's. They moved her immediately.

If she were 10, I would have thought that the transition was far too fast. She is nearly 17 though and she was the one making the decision. I am happy that we were able to give her that ... the security, space and time to have some control over her life. Once she had made up her mind, it was almost certainly easier on everyone for her to go quickly. It was certainly easier for me. Though I see all the advantages for her and support this decision, I still felt (and still do feel) sad about it. I did not want to be a cry baby in front of her, and with the rapid transition I was able to behave the way I wanted.

Yesterday she called to say that she left a large binder here. The binder was still in the back pack I loaned . We had emptied out and packed up the rest of it, so she didn't realize that it was not there until she needed it. I was thrilled to get to see her so soon, so I hopped into the care and drove to her new house. She seemed very happy. I showed her my new Kindle (did I mention that I got the Kindle 3?) and helped her figure out a few things with my Kindle 2 she is currently borrowing. We had a nice, if short, visit.

Next weekend Brian will be playing the bass in "Your a Good Man Charlie Brown." (He was Mitch in "Streetcar Named Desire" last week.) I think I will invite Helen to go to Charlie Brown with us. I still need to talk to her social worker about the possibility of a regular visitation schedule.

I keep thinking that this is as it should be. That I keep thinking that of course means that I am still feeling sad about it, but I really do believe that this is a good placement for her. And it is best for us. I mean, just imagine how impossible next summer would be with two vehicles and six licensed drivers in the house. Not that it is going to be that much easier with five drivers.


  1. It does seem like it is working out well. I can see why you were initially sad when she moved to the B's. But also I think that the regular visitation schedule may really help Gary develop a relationship with her more gradually and in a way that feels less threatening to him. (and I think threatening is not the word I meant but my brain has departed apparently!)

  2. I think I know what you mean though.


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