Smart Girl: I caught up with our daughter at last when she called me yesterday around 2:30 P.M. as I was on route with my son to help him move into his new apartment/closet on 15th Street in N.Y.C. The young lady surfaced at last to give me her view of her tour of ROAR, which sounded like a resounding success. My son and I were heading down the Henry Hudson Drive, a super sparkly river on my right, replete with joggers, bicyclists and strollers making the “Sunday In The Park” a reality, when his sister called. I was so happy to hear her recitation of the “tour” and her comfort level with her vocational staff that I felt compelled to take notes, but didn’t, so this is from memory.
ROAR: Our daughter gave me the virtual tour, which included a description of the most common ailments of shelter animals, Giardia amongst the top two. Also, how many of the animals are adopted, and that those that are not are euthanized. Pang… Super Pang. She then launched into the future plans that ROAR has to create an “exercise space” for the dogs and how she will be working with cats, which doesn’t seem to bother her at this time, despite her primary passion being canines. She remarked on one very special pit bull she met whose name eludes me for the moment. Apparently Doreen, the Roar volunteer coordinator, posed some questions, including defining what a feral cat is, and Voila, our daughter responded “A cat who lives on the street.” Brava.
Drama: The drama of the last 48 hours had dissipated and apparently all went well with the new staff/daughter interface. However the issue of communication gaps came up. The Thursday – Saturday residential paraprofessional was the one who had strategized with our daughter for Sunday’s tour, working with me to help her overcome her concerns regarding the vocational staff person and to plan how to handle the day. That information was left to be conveyed through notes to the Sunday – Wednesday paraprofessional who comes in early morning. But that wasn’t done because I believe the professional staff took over the job of communicating the plans but then was unreachable by cell Sunday morning when the Sunday paraprofessional, following instructions left for her by her colleague, called her. Oops. Got it?
Now I’m Pissed: Well, not exactly. I know these system problems. The paraprofessional world often is usurped by their professional brethren when actually they are the folks in the know. So perhaps the residential coordinator, who had stopped in later Saturday afternoon, pulled all the pieces together and felt it was her role to present them to the paraprofessional the next day, certainly better to talk then to have her read all in the notes. But it didn’t work. If our daughter had not been in better shape, the whole thing would have been a mess as Sunday’s para would have had to piece together the last four days of drama quickly but certainly not in enough time to ensure a safe passage to the ROAR tour.
Werewolf Mom: Yes, I did send that email early this a.m. to the team. Not angrily. All went well so I don’t feel angry. But I do feel worried. Had it gone badly, well, you know werewolf momma would have descended. So I am trying for prevention once again. These folks are working so hard and mostly so well that it would be very unfair to hammer them, as well as unkind and destructive. They will get the message. Systems have so many cracks in communication, multiple people, human error and a cell phone turned off or dead perhaps, or a mailbox full. Whatever. We were lucky this time.
Friday ROAR Begins: It’s all about the girl and Friday she will become an official ROAR volunteer. She is psyched and though the early morning hour (she begins at 8:30) offers up plenty of challenges for her, I am working hard to help staff get her set for take off in plenty of time so that we lower the “spirals of anxiety” for all.
Am I working too hard? Possibly, but based on a couple of decades of experience, probably not. Am I a special needs version of “Tiger Mom?” I’m not that good or that bad. Anyway, “Its all about the girl.”
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011