A few weeks ago Sam made the big move to adult services. I hoped the transition would be smooth. I did my best to prepare him and talk about the new friends he would meet.
But what about Sam's old friends. All those people he would no longer see. Would he miss them? When communication is the challenge, it is hard to know. Sam seemed to sail through the transition. He didn't ask about school. But then Sam rarely asks.
I wondered similarly when we lost my father. Did Sam miss him? Did he understand that loss? Just as I was about to give in to the notion that I would never know, I had a thought:
I asked Sam if he wanted to text MaryKate, his favorite teacher from school. "Yes MaryKate" he said. I opened up the text box to MaryKate and saying anything more, I my phone to Sam.
To Sam, my phone is like gold with its anywhere, anytime access to YouTube. I expected him to immediately switch to Elmo videos - that's what he usually does.
I was wrong. He stared at the phone for a long time and said, "MaryKate." Then he typed:
Marykate happened to see the text and answered quickly. They texted back and forth for a few minutes, mostly about missing her and a visit on Tuesday. He chanted "MaryKate Tuesday" most of the weekend.
I asked if he wanted to talk to anyone else. He asked for Tom and Megan. In the email to Megan he listed others he was thinking of.
Sam has been asking for my father all of a sudden, too. I'm guessing he thinks I have him hidden somewhere, like MaryKate. My father would like that. While I can't make my dad magically appear, I do have the means to keep Sam connected with many who have been important in his life.
To that elite group who've made their way into Sam's heart - even those from long ago - it is safe to say you are there to stay as long as you are willingMoral? I can guess and guess. Outward appearances can't be trusted. I don't know what I don't know.
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