Love Her Spunk: The Ridgefield CRS apartment is a pretty stylish place these days. The residential coordinator picked out an area rug for the living room, a runner for the hall and hung some curtains to soften the noises being emitted from the red couch. Both the coordinator and the other mother, having seen her dad’s art work in our home, suggested we add some of his paintings to the living room walls. Sounds like a natural as Dad is a prolific oil painter and has a range of subjects from landscapes to ocean scenes to city buildings. Daughter seemed non-committal at the time this topic emerged so I revisited it with her last night on the phone.
A Week Apart and Missing Her: I think it is exactly a week since I visited our gal, the day she moved back to her apartment after electrical power returned to her street. Oops, no. Just remembered our very brief encounter at the doctor’s office the next day. Since then she has been busy with programming and entertainment. Animal life has been the weekend theme, including a visit to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport (the female otter died, the prairie dogs were as cute as ever, and the two lions needed ‘socializing’ according to zoo staff), and a walk through the Stamford Nature Center ( also busy with an otter couple). On Labor Day, the threesome (her apartment mate with one staff included) trotted off to Farmington Ct., quite a distance, to eat at the Rainforest Cafe and stop in on the Vera Bradley store at the mall, my daughter’s current retail favorite. Though her brother and his boyfriend paid a call later that Sunday afternoon, when I asked if she wanted anything from her mom and dad, she said “No, I’m fine”. Even when her apartment mate went to her parents’ home that Sunday evening for dinner, leaving our daughter alone with staff she didn’t ask to do anything with us. But she did call every day, sometimes twice a day, during the week since we were together, to fill me in on her activities, what animals, food and shows she was involved in, and what new movies are up in the theaters. She called while watching the television show “Army wives” to tell me that Vice President Biden’s wife, Jill was in the segment, asking, “Don’t they have a son in Afghanistan?” “I think so.” She is full of information to share, learning constantly, so that speaking with her is a joy, except when I cannot understand what she is saying, and she hates when I ask her to repeat. Oh well, small price to pay for having this lovely rapport.
Cats and Dogs: In one of our conversations she informed me that The Complete Cat Clinic offered to let her stay even after their student intern returns to school. Wow. I take that as a compliment to our daughter and reassuring that while the ROAR shelter and the senior residence are not quite ready for her, she still has the cats. Meowmarvelous. Further, today I have put in a call to the State University campus in Danbury to the head of the “Access Ability” program as per my daughter’s interest in taking a class there. Another venue coming up for her is the theater component of Sphere which will begin next week. This week will be their summer program art show of members’ works which will allow us to see our daughter’s papier-mache dog head completed.
A Bittersweet Return: There is much on her September calendar including a memorial service for the friend she lost last month. His parents are holding the service at the Riverview campus early one Friday morning. As I have mentioned before, it is a four hour drive each way which means she would miss the cat clinic that day, but she wants to go and I want to take her. We will leave Thursday afternoon, stay one night, and I hope have time to visit the beloved campus and friends when we arrive Thursday by dinner hour. Frankly, I don’t know who misses Riverview more, she or me, but it will be a powerfully emotional return for both of us.
Dad’s Paintings: After chatting about Vera Bradley blankets with pattern designs entitled “Happy Snails”, “Boysenberry,” ” Plum Petals,” “Mocha Rouge,” and “Safari Sunset” (you have to look mighty close up to find those happy snails) I suggested that for her birthday in November I would take her back to Farmington and Vera to pick out the blanket of her choice (“they are fleece-lined Mom”), I shifted the conversation to Dad’s paintings. Now it must be said that our daughter has grown up in a home whose walls on at least two floors are covered with Dad’s paintings, one could say almost ad nauseam, therefore it comes as no surprise that ultimately our daughter seems disinclined to cover her new home walls with the same. Both her dad and I applauded that independent, unsentimental (she isn’t terribly sentimental in general except about boys) and in fact, sensible decision. Though the adults who spend time at the apartment may have enjoyed the panoply of colors, mountains, trees, oceans and streams that fill the canvases of Dad’s works, our daughter has had enough. That’s for the old folks at home. She has moved on!
Freedom Is Another Word For Telling The Truth: I love how clear and free and truthful our daughter is. Her dad was not offended in the least. We get it. Gotta love that gal.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011