Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Letter to Katie

Dear Katie,

Sometimes I wish I could talk to you and know that you understood what I am saying to you. I wonder what was going on with you today that made you so grumpy and out of sorts. Are you tired, or not feeling well? You said you were fine, but that's always your answer and I suspect  you really weren't fine today.

I wonder if you appreciate or liked the slip I made for you today to make your skirts longer so you don't have to constantly pull your skirt down. I hope there's a part of you that likes it, even if I realize that you could care less if someone sees your underwear.

Do you know that I worked hard to make a special dinner tonight for David to celebrate his birthday and so you could have a dinner with our family this week. I'm sorry that our week was so crazy and family dinners were few and far between. I suspect that part of your grumpies today was because we haven't had much family time.

I wish you understood how hard it is on me when you sprint to your room and slam the door, slamming out all of us. How you only talk about going home to Utah and you get so excited whenever anyone says, "Utah," "Provo," "Ryley," "Michael," "Celeste," "BYU" or any other word that reminds you of your "home." You have a good life with us and I know you like living with us. Your insistence that you go "home" RIGHT NOW wears thin on days like today. I wish you could be back in Utah with things that seem familiar.

I want you to see your friends, and be in your room and do things that bring you comfort. But you are making friends here. You do have things here that you like. Is there really no appreciation in your heart for those things? I'd like to think there is, but I honestly don't know.

I get that in the grand scheme of caring for people with disabilities, my lot could be much harder. I appreciate that you don't scream and  yell. I'm glad you don't deliberately break things, even if you accidentally broke a glass today. Next time, please tell me so we don't have broken glass on the floor, 'kay?

I'm thankful that are who you are and while I don't want to change that person, I just wish we could communicate better so I know how to help you. I don't want you to be unhappy, yet I'm not sure you know how to be happy. You were so excited to have me come get you in Provo so you could go to Ohio. Now you are here and all you talk about is going back. I guess it's going to take time for you to realize you have two homes and your life will be lived in two different places.

I'm hoping a good night's sleep will be the best thing for you and for me. Tomorrow is another day. We have your Christmas party at RNI this week. You are doing a secret Santa. We are 10 days away from seeing Ryley. We will put up our Christmas decorations tomorrow and you will get to help count down the days until Christmas.

I love you, Katie. Even when you are grumpy and surly and whining about going home, I am grateful for the chance to serve you. Most days, I just get that's part of your schtick--you're naturally surly. Being your 24/7 caregiver can be hard, but I'm willing to do it because I love you and I want a good life for you. So tomorrow, if I'm still not feeling good and you're still grumpy, could you just please put a sock in it for one day and cut me break? Please? With kisses on top?