Isabella & Victoria
Recently, we dropped off Victoria — Isabella’s big sister — at the Broadway Conservatory for a 2-week program. That means that she will not be able to accompany us to the one and only visiting day at Isabella’s 7-week camp. We haven’t mentioned this to Isabella. She will be expecting Victoria. Whenever Victoria was away for a school trip — for as little as one night — Isabella is not right.
The two share a room, which Victoria complains about on occasion. Like any other little sister, Isabella will go through Victoria’s stuff. The way I see, Victoria leaves her stuff all over the place. It’s there for the messing. Isabella does not goes through Victoria’s closet. Though they are only 2 1/2 years apart, they do not share clothes, discuss boys, or style each others hair. Victoria does that with her girlfriends. Isabella does not do that at all, except discuss boys during a social worker-facilitated girls’ group in school. That’s a bit different.
They share parents, a brother, and most of all a home. That saying — “Home is where the heart is” — is somehow more true.
When you have a child who is not developing at the same rate as her peers, you worry about the future. Really, you worry about all of your children. I see many of my friends’ grown children living at home. Some have graduated from college and have gainful employment, even careers. Others are, well, lost. We really can’t predict who will get out of the house and who won’t — for our neurotypical kids. For our “different” kids, we definitely know. And as they age, we know for sure. So we worry. We consult with attorneys. We look into state programs (and become horrified). We come up with a plan…or at least think about a plan.
While out for brunch on a Sunday with our two girls, Isabella asked Victoria about college and moving away. I commented that Isabella would miss her. This happens now when Victoria sleeps at friends homes or goes away for weekends. Isabella is not quite right. Victoria dismissed my comment by pointing out that college was only for 4 years. And after college (or I was thinking, when we’re dead)? Victoria replied, “Isabella will live with me.” I was at a loss. We had never, ever discussed Isabella’s future with our other children. Victoria cooly replied, “I decided that when I was 9,” and took another bite of her eggs Benedict.