We had another school day cancelled today...really unbelievable for Texas schools. As the principal, I await the text from my supervisor on mornings of ice, sleet, and snow, so that I can let my faculty and staff know. My usual wake-up time is 4:45, and I anticipated a text this morning, but by 5:15, I had to get my shower in case we did have school. Of course, as soon as I stepped into the shower, I heard the familiar ding of my phone. We missed four days of school last week because our streets were too icy. Texans are not prepared for dealing with these conditions, so everything just stops. I'm ready for warmer weather - even temps in the 30s and 40s would be fine...just no snow and ice. Five days in a house with four adults (one with Alzheimer's) and two kids aged 2 and 3 is quite enough.
When we have these unexpected days off, it really throws Billy off his routine. Our routine for Monday - Wednesday and Friday is to rise at 4:45, get our showers and get dressed, go downstairs for meds and grab something for his lunch, and we head out the door at 6:00. The most fabulous caretaker, Terry, from his daycare, meets us about halfway to the facility. It happens to be the perfect place because she drives in from a small town, and that's where we can meet very easily around 6:30 a.m. I'm able to go on to school and get things going. I know what a blessing this is because when Billy first began going to daycare, I had to get him there by 7:00, turn around and try to get to my campus by 7:30. It's impossible on most days because of the distance and traffic. I love getting to school early and getting settled in before the craziness begins.
Thursdays are special days for Billy and for me right now because he has a caretaker who comes to the house for the day. That's a day we can get ready a bit slower, and I don't have to leave so early in the morning. Best of all, I don't have to drive 50 miles roundtrip to pick him up in the evening. Catherine is provided by Easter Seals (a wonderful organization that helps so many), and she is an energetic lively woman from Scotland. We love her dialect, and her wonderful stories. She and Billy take walks, go to lunch, and catch up the laundry. The people who care for Billy and all others who need assistance are special people, and I am so thankful for them.
These unexpected days off do provide time for me to spend with Billy, and he does like being with me. We've always enjoyed being together, but we also enjoyed being independent of each other. Billy was always very busy in his career and other areas like church or scouts with our son. If anyone asked Billy to do something, he did it, and he did it well. I often fussed at him for not saying no to a few things. Now, he has more time than he knows what to do with. He clings to me for comfort and security, and while I am thankful that he does that, I am also stifled by it at times. If I leave a room, he follows me. If I'm having a conversation on the phone, he hovers over me. Today, I didn't let that bother me. I read and napped while he watched tv. I cooked while he stood around watching me. He was relaxed and comfortable for the most part, and I call that a good day. Blessings abound.