Thursday, July 24, 2008

mixed feelings

Patrick left home today to move to Texas to live with his biological mother. And to be honest, I'm pretty upset about it. It's hard to see your child leave home when he's been such a huge part of your life for the last 8 years; hell, it's just hard to see them leave home, period. I've fought for Patrick as though he's my own; we've spent thousands of dollars on lawyers, countless hours trying to get him services, and shed more tears over him and laughed more than you can imagine. Kenin and I honestly believe he's best off in a group home (he blossomed in one in Montana), but when faced with the possibility of yet another court appearance, we had to give in as we can't afford to fight his mother again. I hate it, and I feel like total shit over it, but maybe this is God's way of telling us we've earned a break.

Yesterday was a really bad day for Patrick. On Tuesday, he'd managed to get into the fridge and eat 3 half frozen raw chicken breasts before he got caught, so he spent part of the night Tuesday and all day Wednesday paying for it on the potty. Actually, as unhappy as he might have been about the consequences of his actions, it sucked just as much, if not more, for Kenin and me because in the middle of trying to keep Patrick (and the carpet and the furniture and the walls and his clothing) clean, we'd both worked all day and then came home and and began doing laundry and trying to cook dinner and pack and make sure everyone had baths because Kenin, Patrick, and Hunter had to leave for Texas today. Not an easy feat, let me tell you.

And then, in the middle of this horrific day, it occured to us that maybe this was God's way of making Patrick's leaving easier. Maybe if we had a fresh experience of just a few of the things that make life with Patrick so tough challenging, then it might make it easier to see him go. Well, it turned out that it was still hard to see him go, so maybe that wasn't we were being told after all. Kenin and I did talk, though, about some of the things that we won't have to do anymore, like:

~bathe him (me) or shower with him (Kenin)
~brush his teeth
~clean poop off Patrick and the bathroom walls/floor
~lock the fridge/pantry after every use
~repair/replace furniture that's been destroyed
~replace wallpaper that got ripped off
~clean spaghetti sauce off the ceiling
~hide the toilet paper so the whole roll doesn't end up in the potty
~be constantly aware of Patrick being too quiet/too loud and wondering what he's getting into
~alter every pair of pants to fit a 24 inch inseam
~not take vacations/have to refuse invitations because there isn't a sitter
~replace clothing that gets ripped/torn up on purpose
~climb on top of the plant shelf to retrieve what's been thrown up there
~wonder if Patrick's going to throw a fit in public

All I have to say is that you have to take the good with the bad and I sincerely hope that things work out well for Patrick now that he'll be back with Donna because there's no revolving door on my home.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Betsy, You and Kenin are saints for having endured as long as you did with Patrick. If is nearly impossible to keep track of a severely retarded person regardless of their age. More care is needed and I am sure that although you miss him, you still have a large place in your heart for him. Hopefully the puppy can fill some of the love you are missing. I can understand that there but for the grace of God go I. I hope he will be cared for the rest of his life with the love you and Kenin have shown him... cousin, Peter