So on Saturday my mom and I drove to Andy’s cool little apartment in Rhinebeck, then followed him to the school. To be honest I didn’t really want to go just yet. I’d imagined Boo happy, playing, eating good food and watching videos, walking around the campus with one of the direct care workers, swimming in the pool, riding his scooter. I didn’t want him to see us and remember – to cry mama, to ask for home or daddy - not yet. I didn’t want to have to drive away from him.
My mother, though, wanted to see her grandson so much she swayed me. And after all, I missed Jonah lots too. I tried not to focus on the chaotic scenario I secretly feared as the three of us arrived. When he first saw us, Jonah ran away toward his room, then came forward smiling and happy to see us. We set up a little picnic outside the visitor’s center and as he looked from one of us to the next, grandma pulled out a bottle of black soda!
Heaven. He’s a walking commercial for the black soda, just like his mama. Not bragging, just saying.
He didn’t drink much of it, actually. We all ate sandwiches and chips, Jonah alternately sitting down and walking a few feet away, a little unnerved but not upset:
He asked for playground and we brought him there – it’s right next to his house. He loves that playground and has taken interest in things like swings again. For so long we couldn’t take him to playgrounds for fear he’d hurt other kids, and it was really cool to see him able to play again, smiling and laughing.
Then we went for a short ride in brown car, Jonah grinning and thrilled to be next to grandma.
At one point he had a little aggression, but it only lasted a few seconds and then we drove back to the school. Everyone working in his house seemed to like him, and the kids seem pretty cool. When we first walked into his house, one boy led me by the arm over to a computer, smiling up at me as if I were his best friend immediately. We briefly met some of the caregivers before going outside with Jonah for our visit.
At the end of our visit, my mom wanted she and I to leave a few minutes before Andy, “so we wouldn’t all be leaving at once,” but I think she wanted to spare us the possible scene of Jonah crying and calling for us. I don’t know how much Andy was downplaying it when he told me afterward it wasn’t too awful, but I’m grateful he took on the emotional burden of being the last one to leave Boo behind.
It was strange; all three of us broke down at one point or another, but not at the same times, and none of us for very long. We kept it together pretty admirably, I’d say. It is taking a lot of getting used to, this strange, new path.
Yesterday M and I were almost laughing from our snug basement apartment about how hurricane Irene turned out to be not much at all – just a day of endless rain and wind. We stayed in and didn’t think much about it. This morning, though, I had to detour to get around a huge tree that’d fallen across both lanes of Western Avenue. By the time I got to work and saw the branches all over our parking lot, it occurred to me that maybe I should stop home on my lunch hour, just to check on things.
Here’s what had happened to my back yard while I was laughing at the storm:
Our next door neighbor’s enormous maple tree uprooted and fell at an angle, smashing the fence & laying in my yard.
This is the view of the root of the uprooted tree, which pried their patio up at an angle and set their picnic table askew.
Tree everywhere! I guess Irene didn’t appreciate us laughing at her. Instant karma, kinda…
Everyone is grateful the tree fell in the direction it did and that no one was hurt. M and I are slowly moving back into the house over the next month or so. It will be nice when that’s all done.
My mom and I are planning to go back and see Jonah, by ourselves this time, this Saturday. So far so good – even Irene spared us her worst.