Jack’s Other Family

I’ve been writing more than ever but none of it seems to make its way to this blog. Unless you want to learn a bit more about bipolar disorders or various treatments for anxiety, I’m not sure anyone but my professors would find any of it interesting. But, it’s been a month since I posted so I wanted to take a moment to fill you in on JackO.

I miss Jack. 

Ever since I started school, I’ve noticed that Jack is spending less and less time at home. At first it was every few days Maria would say that they were going to just swing by her house to check in on her daughter and then Dan and I would get texts with pictures of Jack sitting down at a glorious meal or out taking a hike or watching Maria’s daughter play softball. Every few days turned into every day and sometimes I need to send a text reminding them that it’s bedtime. Maria well exceeds her paid hours because they are in the middle of a movie or making pizza or they are waiting for a cake to get out of the oven. I’m now convinced that Maria and her family are planning on stealing Jack for good. I can’t blame them – he’s good company.

It’s now been over a year since Jack had a formal schedule. 411 days since he would hop on a bus and have a day full of adventures and instruction with peers and therapists and teachers. It’s been an adjustment for the rest of us, but Jack never seemed frustrated by the new COVID reality. The first few months he just loved having his whole family around all day. And then he enjoyed every show we introduced him to – The Office, Cheers, Seinfeld, Full House, The Wonder Years, That 70s Show. But by the time I started school Jack was running out of television, Anna had returned to Baltimore and the house felt rather boring with Dan working and me buried in my studies. Maria saw a need and she filled it. 

Over the years Jack has had “other mothers” who have loved and cared for him – Taryn, Sabrina, Peter (other father), Sara, Lilly, Celia, Ivete, Monica, and on and on. Jack has been so blessed to have these “other mothers” and now Jack has a whole “other family”.

For a school project I needed to interview someone going through a developmental stage that we’ve been studying. I sat down with Maria’s beautiful 10-year-old daughter, Jamilla. I’ve known her since she was born and thought I knew every detail of her life but hearing someone’s story in their own words is always fascinating. I enjoyed every second of our talk, but it was the last bit that nearly brought me to tears (happy/beautiful tears). When asking her what it was like to be an only child, she quickly told me that she wasn’t, “I have Jack.”

I miss Jack but there is a lot of him to go around. His love and licks and contagious positive attitude need to be shared. As much as I miss having him here all day, I am so happy that he has another family to keep him busy while Dan is working and I’m trying to get my 51-year-old brain to retain crazy amounts of information.

AND we’re opening the pool next week, so I feel pretty confident that they may start having more adventures over here for the next few months!!

Love, Jess

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