Monday, November 26, 2012

A time for every season

Sam showing his "unhappy face" at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

I've often said that things happen with Sam in the way they are supposed to, and so I have learned over the years not to fret overmuch.  After all the debacle with the evening at the Botanical Garden, we've had some conversations about why it happened.  Through these conversations, he's started making comments about the pain of having "parents around all the time telling me what to do."  It was a perfect segway for a conversation I knew we needed to start.

On the way home from my parent's house on Thanksgiving, he was again talking about it all, and how he's tired of us always "bugging" him.  I smiled to myself realizing that he's going through normal developmental things, albeit a bit later than normally developing teens.  As I was driving, I said, "Well, Sam, maybe once you are done with the job program and we've got you set up in a job, you can find a place of your own, with your own friends, and start your life."  He was initially taken aback, and started backpedaling, but before he could get too far, I told him, "It's normal for kids to leave home.  Dad and I don't still live with our parents.  We got out of school and moved away to start our own lives."  That intrigued him enough to start asking questions.  I told him that it did not mean he could not talk to us whenever he wanted to, or even come see us and spend time at our house, but that it might be time then to have a life apart from his parents who are always "telling him what to do."  I was pleased that he actually warmed up to the idea and started talking more about it.  When we got home, I heard him call my parents and my sister to talk to them about it and get their take on things.  It made me smile.

I knew that at some point, he did not need to be with us full time any longer.  It would not be good for him or for us.  We will not be here forever, and it's important that we find a group living situation that will support him being as independent as he can be.  Sometimes staying with parents does not support that as there is too much of an emotional connection.  I have had a place in mind for some time now, and will start to actively get more information so that in the next couple of years, we might actually transition into another living situation.  It was a good start of a much needed conversation and was actually much easier than I had anticipated.  And on we go...

To everything there is a season, and 
a time to every purpose under heaven.

10 comments:

Laurie said...

I love your approach, and the way you're handling the transition from one chapter to the next in Sams life. I know it must be hard, but you're handling it beautifully, Bless you.

troutbirder said...

A good start indeed, Jayne.
Although an entirely different situation, one of a good friend of mines eldest daughter was Downs. This transisition was successfully made to the benefit of parents, siblings and daughter. They said it was the right thing to do... She was 21.

Ginger said...

At risk of sounding simplistic and ignoring a few things I still wonder about: God has the "timing" thing down pat, doesn't He?

NCmountainwoman said...

Definitely a good start. I know the idea of Sam living apart from you has always been a very admirable goal. He has come so far with your encouragement and help. Good luck on this journey.

Diane said...

This sounds like a great start! Wow, the diplomacy that you use is amazing. But life's challenges make us bigger than we think we are. Diane

The Bug said...

I had wondered if Sam would want to move out on his own. I'm glad you were able to have the conversation - & that the bad experience was the doorway to getting there.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Sam is truly becoming a young man.

KGMom said...

Jayne--this is the goal of all parents. And yet we all have our fears. The temptation is strong to want to hold on, but we know that letting go is best.
Your words of wisdom could be used by any parent as a child begins to reach adulthood.

Larry said...

It sounds like Sam is cautious,maybe a little nervous but looking forward to his independence.You must be proud.

Beth said...

This is wonderful, Jayne! As you say, it does appear that Sam's disgruntled state (as hard as it is to deal with) is really a normal developmental stage. I'm so happy that you were able to use this time as an opportunity to initiate such an important conversation with Sam and that he responded so positively.