When we go on a Disney Vacation, I start packing weeks… ok, ok – sometimes months in advance. Yeah, it’s crazy. I spend weeks packing for a trip that usually only last about a week.
Adrian goes to his new residence, potentially for years, starting next week. I have yet to pack a single thing.
Part of it is all the red tape involved. You sorta have to pretend like it’s not going to happen while you’re waiting for the next problem to crop up… or else suffer emotional nausea from the rollercoaster. Even now, the last step (and last potential for a problem) happens less than 24 hours before his move in time. As much as we don’t expect anything to go wrong, you just don’t know.
Part of it is that it’s just so hard to imagine that it’s really going to happen. How do you pack your kid to go live somewhere else? Sure, I’ve got a list that includes socks, underwear, pants and a coat… but no matter what I add to that packing list, it doesn’t seem right or complete.
Probably because it’s missing us, his family.
After the usual red-tape roller coaster, we’ve got a move in date for Adrian at his new residential school less than 2 weeks from today.
I think my daughter said it best when she told me about a discussion she had with someone about Adrian’s move. “Mom, I was smiling and crying at the same time.” Yeah, that about sums it up for all of us here.
It’s happy. We really think Adrian will appreciate all the extra activity, attention and structure of his new home. We think that having a new set of folks look at him through fresh eyes is going to mean gains in academic, self-care and behavioral skills. We think that the change it’s going to make in our household, especially for the other kids, is going to be life changing.
But it’s also sad. We will miss Adrian. We feel badly that we couldn’t single-handedly provide everything he needs to be as successful as he can be. It’s a decision you wish you never had to make, even if you know it’s the right one.
We realize that neither the smiles nor tears are going anywhere any time soon. In fact, I’m fairly certain that this transition will be easier for Adrian than any of the rest of us. It’s going to take us months to reimagine a different way of living – without Adrian here.