It seems that no matter what growth is made or achievements that come, there is always the reality. There will always be the reality.
The reality checks come still as surprises when I least expect them.
Reality checks of recent days:
1. When getting her intake for adult funding–which for the record has been 6 1/2 years on a waitlist–it was brought to my attention, or my awareness that she s never in the community alone. As in never. I had never thought of that and when I was asked, I must have repeated the word “No” so many times in awe that the woman finally said “okay, I got it”. No. She is never alone in the community. Ever.
2. Attending the ARC achievement awards where she was awarded “achiever of the year” we sat at a table with four awesome adults with intellectual disabilities. They were all above the age of 35. And they still needed help cutting their meat, knowing which fork to use, and filled their moments of boredom with coloring pictures on the pages of their program. She too will someday be 35. And she too will fill her bored moments by coloring.
3. She turns 20 in a couple of weeks. When asked for her birthday wish list, the simplicity of who she is was written on her list. Dolls, colored pencils, hershey chocolate, and a horse book.
Reality. There it is.