Children Visiting

Children Visiting 5.26.2021

“The Kids are coming on Sunday at 2:30”

“What kids?”

“You know  the KIDS!”

“Oh you mean THE KIDS!”

My husband is a CASA (court appointed special advocate).  For the last several years he saw the KIDs on a regular basis.  I never knew who the KIDs were, their ages or anything about them.  I just knew that when he went to see the KIDS, it was very important and also very special.  The importance was he would gather information so he could “be their voices” in court cases concerning their guardianship.   It was also a special time to have a visitor come to their home just for them.  The visits usually ended with all the kids in the family gathering around to hear a “Charlie Story.”

He saw the KIDS for 7 years. Finally, their case was completed, and they became available for adoption.  Their foster parents adopted them.  And when the final papers were signed, Charlie was able to tell me about these KIDS.

Parkinson’s “plays on” no matter what you have planned.  This was a special day and I genuinely wanted  to do my part in it.  I usually stay home and hide from events when my symptoms are exceptionally annoying.  There  was a decision I had to make about today.  Because my balance was so bad I could easily trip over the toys Charlie brought in from the shelves in the garage.  My language was a bit confused when I tried to talk.  I had trouble getting out of the chair.  And the sound level, that glorious sound of children playing, was interspersed with shrieks and cries that pierced my ears. I could foresee a major panic attack brewing. Yet, there would no hiding when the KIDS came.  They would  seek me out.

I made my decision.  Just stay.  Sit in the living room and enjoy watching these KIDS play. 

And I did and it was a great time.  As the afternoon wore on  each child initiated an interaction with me.  I didn’t have to  go to them.  Even the baby got involved by glancing over at me.   Our eyes locked.  He ducked under his mom’s arm and then sprang back up.  “Peek a  boo”.  He  initiated “peek a boo” with me! How cool is that!

Charlie had help cooking up hotdogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob. He made a condiment tray and bought double stuffed potatoes salad from the store deli.

Another choice to make… I had to shake off the fact that I hadn’t prepared the meal.   I  let my visitors serve me and clean up my home.  It was hard to be OK with in my head and in my heart.  We were breaking down the schema of “having dinner  guests”.    I was in a new role.

 Our plans to enjoy our back yard and patio were ruined by a spring storm so we sat together around the big kitchen table, like thanksgiving.  It was thanksgiving!

At the end of our time together, one of the younger boys came up to Charlie and said  “ Are we ever going to see you again?” He put it all together that today was a going-away party:  that Charlie’s official role in their lives was over.

Charlie’s response  “well, if you want to we can be friends for rest of your life.”

It was so quiet after they left.  But as I looked around the empty living room. I could see every little face looking back at me. None of them had judged because I couldn’t move very well.  I don’t think they even noticed.

Another step in accepting myself.

6 Comments

  1. So well said, Carol! People feel blessed to help and I’m sure it’s tough not to do everything you once did, but I’m glad you can find a happy medium!!!

  2. Omg !!Im so Blessed to even have gotten to meet you and Charlie but to call you Aunt and Uncle and my kids feel like they have family that won’t disappear..It’s truely Amazing !!They are still talking about Sunday dinner at Charlie’s and Carols and not wanting to go home ..You were so gracious with our children no matter how they acted and not a lot of people except them so we get being worries about how others will perceive you !! Gods a good God to Us and we are so thankful for the amazing people like you he’s put in our paths …Driving up and down the mountain twice a day has given us extra time to listen to you read your book ..it’s like sitting in the living room wrapped in a blanket sitting in front of the fire all cozy hearing the story …Cannot tell you how much we’ve enjoyed reading your book and getting to know your story …David had so much fun cooking and trading glasses with Charlie we are still laughing about that !!You are amazing people doing amazing things for others !!God Bless!!

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