Saturday, January 4, 2014

I want to go home now

Once upon a time I never thought I'd hear those words without assuming it meant back home to our house.  They were often said, and most frequently when everyone else was enjoying themselves on a long-planned outing, usually to the beach.

"I want to go home", my daughter would say.  "I'm too hot" or "I'm too tired", or anything that seemed designed to interrupt an otherwise pleasant day.  And so it was that outings became truncated, or even avoided and often my husband would take the older siblings on their own holiday - tramping, or skiing, or out to the beach - while I would stay behind with our youngest, thus avoiding having holidays cut short, or "ruined" (according to her sisters).

Separate holidays in our household became the norm, with me taking the youngest off somewhere for a couple of days special time together (often dropping in on other parents who had a child with PWS), and the older ones having some Dad-bonding time.  It worked rather well - no arguments, no fighting, no locking food away and losing the keys - in fact it's something we still do years later (yes, and we still lose the keys...).  We have the celebratory holidays together: Christmas, Easter, birthdays,  but I've noticed that the youngest daughter (now 29) really struggles with anything over 5 days.  Why?  Well, I think it's because she now has her own home, with her own things around her, her own cat, and staff who genuinely like being with her and don't mind repetitive conversations, lengthy window-shopping excursions, or just hanging out with her.  For sure they have 'off' days when arguments become heated and rules are broken, but she would still prefer to live her own life, visiting our home when she wants to.

It's such a relief to know this is her choice and it's something she is completely happy with.  It's been the best residential option so far and, as she has matured, it seems to have become happier.  The staff are very open with her, and with us, but I no longer jump at the ring of the telephone thinking it will be some crisis I have to deal with.  Best of all, she's lost 10kg this year.  She enjoyed her Christmas, was happy to see her small nephew and niece, was happy with her presents (and the promise of a holiday later in the year), but after 5 days when she said, "I want to go home now", I knew it was not to ruin things, but merely a choice she could happily make.

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