Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easing My Way Into Yet, Another Routine

          When Jenna was in the first grade, I would drop her off before school started.  Often I would park and walk around the adjoining neighborhoods.  Sometimes I would go to the temple and sometimes I would remain at the school and offer my assistance.  I made copies for Jenna’s teacher once a week.

Before school let out I would return for her – though she and her friend Isaac were always the last two across the field.  It didn’t bother me if she dawdled.  I would just assume NOT deal with school traffic.  When she was attending first grade I was usually the only car left by the time she arrived to the parking lot.
          I had a similar routine for the first six weeks of second grade.  And then she gave her name and number to a classmate who happens to live in our same zip code.  His mother and father both work a graveyard shift and don’t return to their house until after school has started.  So his grandma would take Don to school – if she was up.  Apparently grandma was not reliable.

          So when Don’s mom read our address, she called me to see if we could car pool.  If it was okay, I would drop them off and she would pick them up.  That would be great!  I was not an avid clock watcher and had actually missed a few days with picking Jenna up on time. 

Don’s mom was grateful to count on more reliable transportation for Don – and I was equally excited about not having to watch the clock.  And as we live further north of the school, I have always believed that I am getting the better end of the bargain.

          In October of 2011, we got our dog, Highness.  Two or three times a week I would allow Highness to ride in the car with us and after I dropped off the kids, Highness and I would take a walk. I would still go to the temple, put in volunteer work, help out at the school and visit my mom in addition to my household duties and spending time at the computer. 

          Even at the beginning of 2012 I remember walking the dog, attending the temple – though it wasn’t as often.  Nor were my services to the school.  I started spending more time with mom.  I stopped taking Highness with me when I dropped the kids off at school.  My routine was slowly changing.  When Corey went out of town, I was forced to put myself on a schedule. 

          My niece and her husband had moved into mom’s basement.  She teaches and he goes to school.  He created a site for each of us to know who would be with mom during what hours so that she would never be alone. Unfortuneatly there were a few gaps when she was by herself.

          So by the time third grade started, I was dropping off the kids and driving to moms – sometimes to the cannery.  I don’t think I had gone to the temple since one time in summer.  My routine had come to rallying around mom.  I had even stopped going to the cannery after a while.  On those days that I wasn’t with mom, I was looking into many different communities that offered assisted living.  And we needed one with memory care.

          Now we don’t have to be on a specific schedule about seeing mom – though it is nice that we still communicate and keep in touch about making plans.  For instance, Sunny had decided it would be good to take mom on an outing – away from her new home.  She contacted each of us to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with our own plans.

          I attempted to start another routine.  Last Tuesday I went to the temple for the first time in probably five months.  I hadn’t been to the Jordan River Temple since it had been remodeled. There somehow seemed to be more space and an ornate elegance that invited all that is sacred and holy. I felt like a stranger – almost as though I didn’t belong. 

          That was my only attempt – to start a routine.  Haven’t built myself a routine either last week or this week.  I haven’t even been out to see mom as regularly as I had planned. Mother Nature has interfered. But perhaps it’s best for her.  Perhaps she can make a better adjustment with being where she is.  I don’t know.

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