Monday, July 6, 2009

One More Week of School for Mom

Somehow I've managed to pull off another semester of Grad School (maybe I shouldn't say that yet. I still have three more days to go). Here I am at a dear friend's house in my favorite city in the world, San Francisco, dragging my tired butt through another week of classes.

It's been hard on Queen Teen for me to be away all week, but she's been the epitome of a trooper. Monday mornings I put her on the bus to school and give her a kiss goodbye. She looks up at me with those big blue eyes, sighs, then bravely says, "See you, Mommy." I tell her I'll be back Friday morning and she says, "I know." She waves to me through the window as the bus pulls away and a part of my heart gets pulled along with her.

But I would be lying if I said I wasn't also relieved to get away from home for FOUR WHOLE DAYS. Four days of nothing but me and school and time with friends. Four days every week in San Francisco where I can take long walks through the neighborhoods in between classwork, soaking up the creative pulse that is The City. Despite homework and deadlines, my heart rate decreases and my shoulders relax. There is no one to keep up with but myself.

The hardest part of my five weeks of summer school has been managing Queen Teen's services. I messed up the respite hours so now owe the respite worker money from my own pocket. I still haven't found a new neurologist to replace the doctor who decided to move away to LA (he offered to see us there. Gee thanks!). After three months, we still don't have a new wheelchair or the knee brace! I haven't had time to call and nag anyone so things aren't getting resolved. And her classroom teacher called one day needing advice about managing Queen Teen's panic attacks, but I was in my class so couldn't respond. Rick has done his best to stay on top of things but it really is difficult to case manage her care, especially when you don't know who all the players are and what all needs to be done.

It will be good for me to be home full time, focusing on Queen Teen's care. But there's a part of me that resents that need. I DON'T want to spend all my time calling doctors and specialists and service providers, using all my energy coordinating appointments and agencies. I want to continue studying my books and learning new skills for a new job in a field that fascinates me, not arguing with Social Security over whether or not I submitted a form on time. Too much of my life has been spent haggling with organizations who supposedly are there to help my daughter. I don't want to do it anymore. Unfortunately, you can't resign from this job. I am her mom and she needs me. So I will finish these two classes and go back to my "real" job as case manager of Queen Teen's needs.

Despite my annoyance at dealing with all that, I'm happy to spend time at home with my girl again: going for long walks in the morning before it gets hot, making popcorn and watching Disney movies, working on her scrap book, playing board games, reading books, and just being silly.

This morning when we got ready for school, she pointed to the day on her calendar marked with a smiley face. "This is when you're all done with school." Then she giggled.

I hugged her. "Yep. All done."

"That's good," she said, as she snuggled closer against me. "Cause I don't like you going to school so much."

I know, darling girl. You're really going to hate it in the Fall when I have class every Saturday for two semesters. But we'll worry about that later.

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