When you are young you tend to think that once you are married and have a family life will become quite boring and routine. How wrong can you be!
In my experience life never stays the same for long. When I look back over the years I can see that nothing is forever and everything has to be held on to really lightly. But it is so hard to move on. I like routine, I crave for normality and I find change very difficult.
Perhaps that's why I am struggling with the fact that I am no longer the main point of reference in my daughters' life now. It's something she is struggling with herself. One of my main concerns has been that the carers now working with her are unaware of her strange little ways and funny routines that meant so much to her at home. Things like the fact that she hates any internal doors to be open when she is in the house, that every light in the house has to be off for her to be able to get to sleep, that she likes her bedding to be tightly tucked in when we say goodnight. The list just goes on and, as any parent of a child with special needs knows, it just becomes part of making life at home more bearable.
Well, take several young adults with a learning disability, put them together in a residential college for perhaps the first time away from home and what you get is a whole bunch of routines that are in conflict with one another. A recipe for disaster!? My mind has been distracted by thoughts of how the staff deals with each student's needs and balances them with the needs of the whole. But they do, and it works!
Hayley has phoned me every day since she left and at first I was concerned that she was unhappy or very homesick. It turns out that she is neither of these but she is finding it difficult to understand that there are others around now who are willing and able to help her with any problems she has. For all her life I've been there to sort things out. Any little thing and I was her "fixer"!
Last week we had tears on the phone. It was the first and last time. The reason? Well it turns out she had a problem with her Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA). The abutment that screwed into her head had come loose. Had she told anyone at college? Not a chance. As far as she was concerned it was Mums job to sort it out. The tears were as a result of me telling her that I could no longer solve these problems for her now she was at college. As she started to weep I felt such a heel. She soon cheered up and a short phone call to one of the staff, who took her to the ENT clinic in Newcastle, saw it sorted.
I think she's beginning to get the message. It is hard for me but it's such a relief not to be the only answer to Hayley's problems. Change? Bring it on!