10 Jun

Silently planning a future

I am currently listening to a webinar about planning for the future for Oli. PERSON CENTERED future planning, with an emphasis on person centered, meaning that I am supposed to include my child and her voice and her choice about what she wants to do in the future.  I am supposed to encourage and support her to figure out what she wants to do in life and empower her to fulfill her dreams.

What?

Ummmm…. I am supposed to include my child in planning for her future when this same child cannot even tell me when she needs to use the bathroom.

This may not be the webinar for me. Did I sign up for the wrong one? Did the advocate that suggested this webinar, the same woman who has known us since Oli was 2, not realize that she literally has no voice? She is fantastic and this is not a dig about her, but more about the system itself. Where is the webinar for kids like Oli? The answer is that I don’t think they exist. Not like they have them for kids who can in some capacity participate in the decisions surrounding their life. What kind of choice can I give my silent child?  A child who is no longer a child but a 14-year-old young woman who still relies on her mother for every single need.

I absolutely need to plan for her future but planning for her is so very different than when I think about the future of my other children. There is no her without me. There is no future for her that does not include me. No matter where she goes or what she does I will go, and I will do as well. As I sit here and listen to this lecture telling me that it is not my choice as her parent to make these decisions but her choice as the person with the disability, I can only laugh.  And cry a little bit too.

I started this blog 7 years ago. 7 years. Half a lifetime ago for Oli and I wish I was sitting here telling you that so much has changed. I wish I could tell you that together we were sitting here planning this fantastic future for her and I was pushing her to dream hard and dream big, that the sky was the limit for my beautiful girl.  Right now, I can only tell you that the world, her body, and her mind have placed so many limits on her that I don’t even have the faintest idea on how to navigate them.

I know that I need to plan. I will blink and she will be 18. I will need to stand before a judge and hope that he grants me guardianship. A single tear will fall, and she will be 22. I will need to find a place to fill her days because she will no longer be allowed to attend school. A rose will be thrown on a casket, and I will be gone. She will be alone. Who will take care of her then? I think that is the most unfair thing about Oli’s disability. The world moves on and I grow older, and it seems that she just never does. She remains the same.

It’s so unfair. I see glimpses of her in the way her whole face lights up when she laughs. The quiet intensity of her jaw as she listens closely to her surroundings. I see rays of sunshine glow on her skin and I think about how different our life could have been.

I use that word a lot.

Our.

We.

Us.

 I almost can’t even think about her as a singular person, she is so entwined in the very fabric of my being that I honestly don’t even know who I would be without her. When I think about planning for her future, I must also think about mine. What will we do? Where will we go?

In a few years it will only be Oli and I. Living out our lives as one. I always imagined that we would move to a beach in Florida and live out our lives like a couple of Golden Girls. Maybe we can meet another mother daughter duo and all live in a fabulous wicker filled house.

I don’t know what the future holds. I know that our life in no way, shape, or form, has turned out the way that I thought it would have 7 years ago when I started this. So much has changed. Some for the worst but mostly for the best.

Oli is happy.

I am happy.

I look forward to dreaming big dreams for my girl until the day that she can share her own dreams with me.

 Maybe she will one day.

Maybe.

2 Responses to “”

  1. LuAnne Pullen June 10, 2021 at 3:47 am #

    That was so eloquently said definitely brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could do more for her and for you.
    Love you both so very much!!!

  2. Lois Fitzgerald June 10, 2021 at 11:43 am #

    Shannon, you are an AMAZING person and such an advocate for Oli! I admire your strength and your dedication. I know that you are always thinking of her needs even though she can’t tell you what she needs. Keep on being the person you are and doing what you need to do to remain you. Love you lots and think about you and the kids all the time. If there’s ever anything I can do to help, let me know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

thecrumbdiaries

Logan is challenged but not limited, and he is living his life like a boss. I am just lucky enough to be along for the ride.

Mommy Got Her Groove Back

How a new mom, and wife does parenting and daily life.

Lessons from my daughter

Although all doctors agreed she would do nothing.....

I'm fine, but my Mommy has issues!

Raising a daughter with special needs.

Living on the Spectrum: The Connor Chronicles

Our family's adventures in the world of ADHD and Autism.

Parenting And Stuff

Not a "how to be a great parent" blog

The Third Glance

A peek into my (Autistic) mind

One Stitch At A Time

Making my way back in time.

Disability Watchdog

Exposing Injustices for Vulnerable People

My thoughts on a page.

Living, Laughing, Loving, Loathing.

It is Well...with my Soul

Sure, my hands are full. So is my HEART!

Chopping Potatoes

And other metaphors for motherhood

This is the Corner We Pee In

Bulletins from the Parenting Trenches...

clotildajamcracker

The wacky stories of a crazy lady.

This is the place

visiting places where writers were born, lived, loved & are buried.

My Dance in the Rain

The journey of my life, my path to redefine myself and a special little girl with Cri du Chat Syndrome and Primary Ciliary Dyskenisia who changed it all.

Prego and the Loon

Pregnant and Dealing With Domestic Violence

%d bloggers like this: