I gave it a week, it actually took nine days, but Alex had the meltdown I have been expecting. This is not a bad thing, but it is the way Alex expresses herself. I believe she has trouble when her routine changes dramatically, and her emotions are conflicted. In the past she has had a number of reactions to loss and grief, mainly acting out, but often physical ailments.
In this case Alex had the meltdown reaction. Her father left nine days ago to take a job in a different state. John did a great job of explaining this to the kids, and will text and call regularly. We sent him the text picture of the certificate ceremony and he called to congratulate Alex. However, for Alex this is still hard. As with many things in her life, adjustment takes time.
I know Alex understands why John left; that is a great opportunity and he was excited about it. I know Alex understands John will be back in December, if not before, to visit. We all hope John is successful and although we miss him, it really is a necessary evil in our fragile economy. She really does get it, and we talk about her Dad every day.
Unlike me and my other kids Alex’s filter that weeds out the bad stuff in her life is wide open. This enables her to enjoy the highs with pure elation, but also suffer the lows with complete sadness. It is part of why I love Alex so much and have come to appreciate the education I have gotten from having down syndrome in our lives.
However, last night when Alex came into my room at 9:30 crying hysterically about missing her father, my heart broke. She climbed into bed with me, held my hand and cried herself to sleep. I did too.
On the bright side there really is a lesson in this. I just need to figure it out!