That same day, as I lay across the bed trying to think about nothing, I of course thought of something. What I thought was this: if I called the Anderson School, they might have some news for me. Will they admit him or not? If so, when?
So I called the admissions department, got voice mail, and left a message. M came home a few hours later and we turned on Match Game. When the phone rang at 5:30pm, Anderson Center came up on the caller ID. I picked up the handset and a voice spoke and the voice told me Jonah has been admitted to the school and the residence as well.
They are thinking mid-August for the actual move. It is strange how I spoke calmly with the admissions counselor for about 15 minutes, asking questions, writing down classroom ratios, phone numbers – details I’d probably already learned. Finally, a fog of shock descended, making it difficult to speak.
I thanked her, hung up, ran to the bathroom, and threw up.
Then I lost it completely, sobbing in M’s arms, the fog-shock all around me. I felt a strange mix of panic, guilt, incredulity, rage, and a breath-knocked-out-of-you grief. It was what Oprah likes to call the ugly cry, with snot and drool and gasps for breath between fear-filled moments when there is no air and you drown in the sorrow.Eventually the drowning became a wallow and the wallow became a silence and the tears came quietly in uninterrupted rivulets along my cheeks.
Then I thought: why have I gone into this ridiculous state when I knew all along this was our goal, when we’d planned for months to do this thing, to tour the residential schools, to place him in a good one, to give him the best chance at living and learning and getting better?
And now what? Are there instructions for giving up guardianship of your nine year old non-verbal precious little boo, and living an hour and a half away from him?
Is there a solid path to follow, a rock to hold so you don’t float away on the waves of incredulity, a way that doesn’t hurt like fire?
Am I going to make it through the next 6 weeks? Am I going to make it at all? I have cried buckets, rivers, oceans of melodramatic tears. My weakness sickens me.
And there is a lot I am leaving unsaid. It is better that way; I want to forget so many things.
All I want to do is sleep.
“I don’t even try, I know I have seen the best I’ll have
I don’t even try;
I will just play dumb
I won’t hear a single word that’s said
I will bite my tongue
Never sing another song again”
~ Guster, Rainy Day