Summer has passed and the fall weather surprises me with the warmer than usual temperatures, sun and no killing frost. I’m having a hard time realizing over a month of school is behind us.  I didn’t take any official courses to further my credentials this summer, but the experience I lived through, and continue to live, certainly did educated me.

As I wrote in my last blog post back in May, I am a forever-parent. A parent of a child with special needs that resulted in me diving into the realm of filing for guardianship and SSI benefits.  What an educational tour it was.  Each time I thought I’d filled in every piece of paperwork, made the necessary calls, and finally understood the system, another piece of paper would enter my mailbox, another message would blink on my answering machine, or another hour or more was gone from my life as I tried to determine the next step or what I’d missed in the previous step.  As an educated adult with four college degrees, I felt uneducated, unprepared and just plain dumbfounded many days this summer.

I waited to file for SSI just because I wanted to concentrate on the guardianship portion and wasn’t quite sure if we really should apply.  Numerous people gave me their opinions which I appreciated, but I still waited while thinking, I’m educated.  I teach people how to read and write.  I have friends who know pieces of the system. How can I not figure this out? How do people that aren’t as educated figure it all out?

With nervousness rising to the top, all the emotions the morning of the guardianship court date took me by surprise.  There was the humorous moment as Amy said, “I don’t know.” when asked by the judge if she will listen to me, her mom and newly-appointed guardian.  And the proud moment as Ali helped Amy through the proceedings even offering to be sworn in by her sister’s side and answer questions too.

I’m still working on learning my new role as guardian and registered payee, and we are all still processing Amy’s new placement in the Transition I program.  She’s struggling a bit at home. Her daily routine requires more independence since she’s out in the public more than the school environment, so I’m not surprised. We work through those moments, but I still find myself getting angry wondering if life will get easier as she continues to mature and grow. Then I remember “Little Things”   and smile.  (Thanks Kinetic Affect.)

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