I’m experiencing all kinds of cognitive dissonance over here. So, this is the summer of life skills, right?
Right. I’m all in on making sure I foster competent independence in Hope.
And then, I’m constantly wondering if she ready. I’m constantly doubting whether she’s as competent as I hope she is. I’m overwhelmed when she is unable to do something; I try not to say it out loud, but it just lingers.
And then sometimes I just think, what the WTEntireF?
Last year, when Hope interviewed for a spot at her boarding school’s summer program, I remember sitting watching the interview and how my girl was charming, smart, poised, and confident. Even if I know she doesn’t usually feel like any of those (#depression), she rose to the occasion and really hit it out of the park.
I’ve found that sometimes Hope really can perform like a 17 year old who is college bound and ready for the world.
And then, there are times like when I was away on the business trip recently and Hope texted me that the remote control to the main TV stopped working.
I sent her this.
She actually texted me back to ask what should she do?
I am nearly 2,000 miles away. I dunno, maybe watch TV in your room with your TV?
She texted me about the remote control, y’all.
And you know what, 2 weeks before that, she texted me, from her phone, a Google-able question.
These are the moments, ironically usually by text, that keep me up at night. She’s not going to be interviewing every day….no, no, she’s going to be watching TV while asking me questions she can ask her phone. It’s the daily tasks, the ordinary stuff, yeah, that, that’s the stuff she can’t do.
Or won’t do.
I found Hope a volunteer opportunity that would allow her to work every day, though I’m voluntelling her that she needs to put in about 20 hours a week.
Me in the AM: Hope, call the store to set up your schedule.
Me in the PM: So, what’s your schedule?
Hope: Oh, right. Yeah, I looked on the website.
Me: Huh? I told you to call.
Hope: Yeah, but I looked at the site.
Are we even involved in the same conversation? I’m not even sure anymore.
We went around like this for 2 days, until I announced that tomorrow I would just have to physically sit next to her to bear witness to her calling to set up her schedule. #unbelievable
Contrast this with her performance during her college orientation this weekend. *That* version of Hope was anxious, but made conversation, asked questions, and charmed a few other parents along the way.
I know that a lot of this is normal, but it is dizzying.
I am reminded that Hope is a bit behind the curve. She’s still immature; her emotional age still lags behind her peers. She’s catching up; I can really see the gap closing, so deep down, I know that she will be ok, but that gap tho…
I think about the emotional age gap and the depression and the anxiety, and the trauma and the and the and the, and sometimes I feel like we’ll never catch up. And then I spend time wondering what “never catching up looks like?” I wonder what it will look like for me. I wonder what it will look like for Hope.
This transition is certainly less scary than when Hope and I transitioned to be a family. The stakes are really so much lower, but I’m still feeling like…is she ready? Do I believe she’s ready? Does my angst mean I’m possibly not ready?
I dunno…I also feel like Hope’s ability to survive or thrive in college this fall is a reflection on me and my parenting. Did I do everything I could to help to Hope? Did I provide her enough safety? Did I support her enough emotionally? Did I invest enough in her education? Did I try enough different kinds of therapy? Was I the best mom I could be to her and for her?
I feel like I’m about to be graded, and I never worry about grades, so why am I freaking out about whether Hope is going to get to college and text me that she has a hole in her sock, wanting to know what to do?
As I spiral this post out of control topically, I’m realizing that I’m wondering if I’ll be judged on what is probably dumb ish that all kids do because ours is an adoptive family?
I mean, in adoption, you get the halo because you “saved” a child (I hate this) or the horns because you “saved” a kid but didn’t “really” save them because they are still a dysfunctional hellion.
And I thought I’d stopped caring a long time ago about being judged for my parenting activities and choices.
Looks like I care after all.
I also know that when Hope needs to be great, she’s more than steps into that. All the other times she is what’s probably a normal slug of a kid.
I know I did my best for Hope. There’s always room for improvement, but I would like to think I’ve done a good job mothering Hope these last few years.
I also know that I am spending a fair amount of time every day thinking about how it will all feel if Hope doesn’t have the best experience there.
So, while I continue to press on with Hope’s life skills curriculum this summer, I’m going to try to trust this process and where it will take things with Hope. She’s going to be ok. She’s going to learn how to do the things she needs to do.
She will be fine, and so will I.