This past week I did a lot of thinking and weighing of things and came to a conclusion. (Conclusions are frequently difficult for me to arrive at, so this was quite an accomplishment.)
Anyone who's read this blog for more than five minutes knows that, for the past two years, my life has revolved around KidThree and what is best for her. The conclusion I came to last week was that it is time for that period to end, and for the 'focus on me' period to start.
Let's hear it for Mothers' Lib!
KidThree has made so much progress over the past two years and it's been wonderful to see. She's gone from not wanting to leave the home because someone might see her in a wheelchair to going out on her own, going to night school, and wanting to find a job.
But. (You KNEW there was a 'but' coming, didn't you!) The last hurdle, and this is a huge one, is that she will not adopt a regular schedule of sleeping all night and being up all day. Her home environment, the environment so many of her friends and family still live in, doesn't work on that schedule. That environment entails being up at any and all hours of the night and then sleeping during the day until one has gotten enough sleep.
The problem is, that won't cut it in the larger world. The larger world expects one to be able to get up in the morning to go to school or to work or to therapy or to training, and in order to get up every morning, one has to sleep during the night. KidThree has not made the choice to do that yet and until she does, and puts that choice into action, she can't progress any further.
This isn't a new issue--it's been ongoing for years. KidThree takes her phone to bed with her and then is up half the night talking to whoever decides that calling her at two in the morning is a good idea. She's eighteen now, too old to be put on time out or to have minor privileges withdrawn, so until she's ready to make that change in her life, I'm not going to make any future plans based on what she'd like to do.
Let me tell you, that was a difficult decision to come to. So much of my life has been centered on what the girls need, who was having what crisis when, what emergency needed dealing with, and what bill took precedence over the others. Now it's my turn! At least for a while. I've scrapped plans to move, unless something comes along that is too wonderful to pass up. We'll stay right here, since I managed to get that part-time job and it might turn to full-time.
Yes, of course, KidThree is still here, and yes, I'm still going to adopt her, and yes, I'm still going to take care of her and no, I'll never stop loving her or working for her, no more than I would KidOne or KidTwo. The focus will just be a little different, that's all, unless and until she makes the choice to live on real time and then demonstrates for a prolonged period that she can do that.
I went out and bought another box of document protectors, so this weekend I'm going to sort the rest of my Hate Mail from KidOne and KidTwo. After it's all been sorted, I'll transcribe all the ones that are transcribable, then put them into categories and try to put together a book of them. One of the funniest was from KidTwo, but it isn't in words: it's a page of hearts, in neat rows, each one carefully crossed out with that international circle/line that means "don't do this." She didn't love me anymore, you see, not at all.
KidTwo did get over that, though. She called yesterday evening upon her return to Bogota from the Galapagos; it was so good to hear her voice. She did have a wonderful time and did take hundreds of photos and did get to see Lonesome George and marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies. I forgot to ask if she got to see penguins.