Yesterday was Mom's first day at the Adult Day Care. The goal was to fill out all of the paperwork in the first hour and have Mom stay the rest of the day without me. That was the goal. But, just like leaving my youngest on her first day of kindergarten, Mom was not concerned with the goal. We spent the day together while she adjusted to the new place and new faces. The director of the center suggested that it would probably be easier if Mom was picked up here at the house this morning. This would allow her to rely on herself and the staff, instead of me.
So, when the van pulled up this morning, I helped Maria, the driver, strap Mom into the seat. I felt it was the kindest thing to be honest, so I warned her that the ride would not be a quiet one and suggested that she turn the radio up to drown out the sound of Mom's screams. I skipped up the drive-way with the memory of the driver's huge eyes and her panicked look fresh in mind.
Maria told us to expect Mom home between 2:30 and 3:00. So, Katie and I set out on our first day alone together in several months. I occasionally wondered how Mom was faring, but I knew that she was receiving better care than I am able to give her. So, we continued our mini-celebration and arrived in plenty of time to greet our little one when she arrived home.
At 2:30, Katie waited out front for the van to pull up. When 3:00 rolled around and my mom still wasn't home, I harbored the dream that they loved her so much that they decided to keep her. When 3:15 came and went, I began to think that they really loved her and that I could expect a ransom note. At 3:30, I faced reality and accepted that Mom had made Maria wrap the van around a convenient telephone pole. My guilt forced me to call the center where I was told that Mom hadn't even left yet. I pictured Mom throwing a conniption fit and refusing to get in the van. Or worse, that I had forced Maria to quit a job that she desperately needs. The guilt was killing me until I remembered to focus on the real issue...Mom was still not home. I could be taking a nap.