It is quiet in the house this morning. Hurriedly packed bags (done after Billy Ray went to sleep) are in the garage to be put in the car. I know something that Billy Ray doesn’t know yet… we are leaving him for a few days to go to San Francisco. I am excited about the possibility of meeting with many of you and yet torn about leaving Billy Ray for a couple of days.
I talked with his medical providers and both encouraged me to go. His case manager put it in prospective. He asked me if I had good care arrangements which we do. His regular support staff will be here during the day and our friend and consultant, Keddie, will be with him evenings and nights as well as being in charge of the situation while we are away. Tom said “that’s what good mothers do. They make sure their child has good care whether they provide it or not.” He’s right, of course. It is still hard.
It is not like I am jumping on a plane to go to New York (much as I want to so I can meet all the wonderful folks at AMACOM Books who have become like family while we worked on Parenting Your Complex Child). San Francisco is only one state below Oregon. I can be home in a hurry if necessary. So why am I feeling so guilty.
I think that it is because my identity has been so closely tied to Billy Ray. I wrote in my Amazon profile my favorite name is Billy Ray’s Mom. I’ve done a lot of things in my life but that role is by far the strongest.
I can’t speak for parents of children who don’t experience special needs but I assume there would be some preparation for the empty nest by the time a child is 23 years old. Mornings like this remind me that I am not as prepared as I think I am. I know that Billy Ray will have to go on to whatever we work through for him (my dream is that he will have his own home with support staff). It is probably good for him and for me that we are taking short times away from each other.
I will try to write you from the road so you all know how it is going.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan