I honestly Can't even believe I have a 22 yr. old. What now?
Robbie was born January 11th 1997, This year he turned 22, If you don't know my story Robbie was diagnosed with #Downsyndrome at birth, I was a teen mom that had No clue about anything, He had several Health complications and at one point was given 2 weeks to live, He obviously beat those odds thankfully, and has had a normal life up until now. Like most Kids with intellectual disabilities, they are given the option to get a head start in the public school system, Robbie started school at the age of 3.
I vividly remember him Taking the bus at age 3, he was so tiny and he carried a little Elmo Backpack, it'was the only one that didn't look like it would make him fall over.
The same way he was able to start earlier than most kids, he was also able to end later on, while most age out at the ages of 17-18 and after graduating High school, He had the option of staying in a typical high school up to the age of 22, so that's what we did. After the aging out process, he is placed in a transitional program that helps him find a job program where he will thrive and one that he will enjoy, much like the rest of us that can be a task.
My post is honestly more so about Empty nest syndrome, you've heard of that right? Where parents that have most typical children when they move away, or go off to collage and they start feeling the emptiness of the home without the kids around to tend to. I mean, that's not the case with us, Robbie isn't moving away anytime soon, but I'm still feeling different....Is that weird? I'm feeling odd that there will be NO more early morning school drop-offs, NO more teacher conferences, NO more Back to school preps happening...and believe it or not, It makes me feel like my life has changed too. Robbie's last teacher has suggested he get some extra chores around the house, and new activities happening in his everyday routine, so we're definitely working on that until he transitions over into his work force environment.
Anyway, There are so many things I've learned about myself through Robbie, the biggest thing is patience, and the second is that we can't predict what the future holds. That although we might make plans, God may have others in store....Meanwhile, I will enjoy watching our son grow and continue the journey that has been intended for me.
I realize this is a bit different than what I normally write about, but it's something I'm feeling right now, and I guess it's part of this whole new stage happening, I hope you ride the wave with me and continue to follow along, I guess we can all figure out what's next together!