Adventures with Leslie, A Fashion Show

Yesterday, I settled on the sale of my mother’s house. I knew the paperwork would be signed later in the day, so I asked Leslie if she’d like to go over to see it one last time. It was her home for most of her adult life. She said no.

How much do the developmentally-disabled among us understand?

I think it’s more than most of us realize. Conversations have happened all around Leslie her entire life. Most people assume she doesn’t understand. Well, she understands plenty!

We were driving to dinner recently and she said, “Mother was mean.” I was surprised by this but it was true, our mother was often unkind to her. It’s one of the reasons we were estranged much of my adult life.

Before I could process how this might’ve affected Leslie, she said, “But I loved her.” Her love was always unconditional.

Once she got this out, she was ready to move on to a new subject…

“How is our new Governor, Wes Moore, doing,” she asked. Before I could reply, she said, “He has a nice wife.” She’s been following our new Governor and, as a lifelong resident of Baltimore city, is also well-versed on local politicians.

I was curious to see how far this would go, so I went to her favorite: sports.

“Leslie, who is the quarterback for the Ravens,” I asked her. Her answer was immediate, “Lamar Jackson.”

“Who’s the kicker?” I had to look this one up!

“Justin Tucker,” and, without prompting from me, she said, “John Harbaugh is the coach.”

I took Leslie to pick out clothes recently – not her favorite activity. She selected one item: a pink sleeveless number.

Susan O’Brien generously donated clothes to Leslie so she wouldn’t have to go to the mall. Leslie declared a sleeveless purple dress her top pick! I’ve never seen her in sleeveless and I had no idea she liked fluffy dresses.

She has opinions and she wants to share them!!

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