Monday, February 13, 2012

Nadia As An Adult

I have absolutely no frame of reference for Nadia as an adult. Today I made a Facebook post that contemplated teaching Sofia life lessons concerning authority and trust, and forgot to even mention Nadia. Later on, when I went back and discovered that I had completely left Nadia out of even philosophical planning for the future, I felt bad. I wondered why and how that had happened.

On multiple occasions, Jessica has shown that she has a insightful and consistent perspective on Nadia's long-term situation. I guess I have a hard time seeing her as anything other than a baby. I spend more time with her than anyone, and I think that I have made the mistake of forgetting that she is different. Sometimes forgetting how different she is is something that I want.

But it's dangerous for that thinking to take over, I think. It's unfair to Nadia. That thinking allows me to not give Nadia the attention she needs during the day. It allows me to shield myself emotionally from the fact that she isn't going to take to independence in the way that Sofia will. It allows me to forget that people will treat her differently.

There is a woman whom Jessica and I would very much like to be our sister-in-law by the name of Dee Metrick. She works for Reach, an organization in Bozeman, Montana that helps adults with developmental disabilities function in normal society in a way that is rewarding for both the special individual and the less special majority. Dee spent the last few months working on lots of things in her new position at Reach, but perhaps the biggest project was a video for a fundraiser. Jessica and I watched it tonight, and I would like you to watch it now.

Jessica cried when we watched this video because she has a better grasp on the future than I do. At her core, she knows how hard Nadia's life will be. She's only able to keep that understanding in the background for a few hours at a time.

Apparently I keep that understanding in the background all day, every day. I know it, too. I feel bad about it. I'm still working out the balance of everything.