Adventures with Leslie, New Goals

Adventures with Leslie continues…yesterday was a big day for new goals.

It’s July 4th weekend and we’ve been hoping for some downtime, which means pool-time. My children and I took Leslie to get a swimsuit (we weren’t successful).

As we approached the escalator, I hadn’t even given a thought to whether or not this would present a challenge. It did…but before I could regroup, she grabbed the moving railing and stepped right onto the moving steps. Whew! Alex jumped in front, Avery on the side and me in back. Success.

Next, road trip! Leslie hasn’t been over the Bay Bridge in four decades, and she’s never been more than a stone’s throw from a restroom. Until last week, she spent most of her time in her bedroom, alone. Not only was this a three-hour trip, it was an entirely new environment. I was worried.

We discussed it and decided to travel to my house in Crisfield because all three of us, Alex, Avery and, I, were very much in need of a change in scenery. I asked Leslie if she was up for the challenge and she said, “Yes!” As we approached the Bay Bridge, she declared the Chesapeake Bay, “Beautiful!”

You can see the pure joy on her face when we arrived at my house and she saw the water for the first time. She was also afraid. We had a discussion about the dangers of falling in, and whether or not it was likely, so we stayed a comfortable distance from the actual water.

It had been a full day when I asked if she was up for one more adventure. Fireworks!

“Leslie, have you seen fireworks,” I asked. “Yes,” she replied. “On television.”

I knew she had seen them as a child but Leslie is now 60. I thought it might be too loud or scary. When she said she wanted to go, off we went. Leslie didn’t even flinch when they started. She watched every minute and then asked, “Will there be more?’

These were big goals and it’s been incredible to watch her progress. I am moved to tears daily. Sometimes they are tears of joy and other times I am overwhelmed. My kids are doing their best and I am too. It’s just a lot.

When I think it’s more than I can handle, she surprises me with questions like “Can I have a fork?” She was eating with only a spoon when she came to my house.

If you’re wondering about the same dress over and over, I’m trying to figure out sizing. She arrived with her clothes in plastic bags and there weren’t many options so, for now, we wash her favorites every day. I gave her a nice bag for her clothes – for the trip – and she put the plastic bag in it.

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