Let me start by saying that Dimples’ visit was very, very good. I have many thoughts about it, but today I’ll give you the broad overview.
Dimples and her therapist arrived at 4:00 on Friday. We sat and visited for a little bit then Dimples played games with her siblings while I made dinner. When I told them to set the table, she did it without complaint. Dinner was fine; she was content with the food, which was wonderful since food has been a huge issue over the years. For the first time in awhile, the big bottle of hot sauce was back on the table.
After dinner Dimples started to get a little silly and have some energy that wasn’t going anywhere good. Her therapist helped her talk about what she was really feeling, which was anxious feelings about going to bed. I asked her what she needed from me and how I could help her. We talked about leaving the closet light on and making sure she had her mp3 player. I suggested that I set up a CD player and give her the binder filled with Adventures in Odyssey cd’s and she liked that idea.
At 8:30 the therapist left for the hotel and I helped Dimples get settled. She accepted hugs, kisses, and prayers. When I checked on her at 10:00, she was still awake, but the wonderful and amazing thing was that she was staying in her room.
The next morning the kids played games again, then Dimples and Sunshine helped me make a pumpkin cheesecake for dinner. The therapist arrived and we took the girls grocery shopping. They were particularly excited about choosing a treat to share with their friend, Happy, at a tea party that afternoon. I have to laugh because after careful deliberation, they chose spicy chips – not a conventional tea party selection. It was a fun and relaxing trip to the store.
When we got home, the girls wanted to prepare for the party, but I had them help me put groceries away and chop lots of vegetables for dinner. Dimples was edgy and I could see that she was working very hard to be respectful and do what I asked. It was hard for her, but both girls pitched in, we got the work done, and then they got out their pretty tea cups and set the table for their party.
The afternoon passed with the three girls enjoying each other, while Signe, Michele, and I visited with the therapist. It’s an odd thing having a therapist in your home for a weekend. We didn’t do anything special and I think she got a true sense of who we are and how we live.
That gathering ended just in time for the girls to clear the table and set it for dinner. The older kids arrived and by 6:00 we were sitting down to our weekly family dinner. Dimples had a movie that she wanted to share with her siblings, and they were tired, so after dinner they piled on the sofa while the adults sat visiting at the table.
Dimples wanted Samuel to load her mp3 player with Odysseys and music, so while the other kids went to bed, she sat at the computer with him until 10:00. It was very sweet to see them listening to music together. Bedtime was easy because Dimples was so tired.
Sunday morning we were up and out the door before 8:00 for church. Friends were very happy to see Dimples and gave her big hugs. Everyone exclaimed over how much older she looked – and a little taller too. After the service, we settled the other kids in Sunday school and headed home with Dimples and her therapist, where we spent an hour an a half processing the weekend and saying goodbye.
This is long enough for now and I need to get rolling with school, but I have some observations I’ll share over the next couple of days about: the importance of Dimples having her own room, sibling/friend relationships, getting to real feelings, learning to say goodbye, and the supreme value of having a big rocking chair.
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