My 13 year old daughter (Ms. Tween...may need to change her name) came back from a 2 week trip to Europe with my Dad and Stepmom today. I had warned them that while my daughter was intellectually 13, her life skills/organizational skills are more like an 8 year old.
Thank goodness I did that. They said my daughter is a sweetheart. However, their thoughts are these:
My dad was ready to start a Fan Club in my honor. My stepmom (a Catholic nun for 14 years) was ready to nominate me for sainthood (a Unitarian Universalist saint?). But their overwhelming thought was:
My health is very, very important and I need to take care of myself. I cannot die (no pressure though).
They said that they talked about what would happen if I died and they cannot imagine anyone in my family being able to raise my kids and even one of them would be difficult for anyone.
These are extremely intelligent, polite, sweet kids. Yet, my parents "get it." My kids are so difficult to deal with on a day to day basis because (despite the 11th grade reading levels and advanced math skills), you have to tell them EVERYTHING minute to minute. They don;t function as they should with their intellect.
On the one hand, this overwhelmed me. My kids really are that difficult?!
But on the other hand it was affirmation. I am not crazy. My kids are very difficult to raise. NO ONE in my family could handle even one of these sweet, smart kids.
So, I realize that I need to make very concrete plans about what will happen to my kids if I die. When I had one, it was easy. But now, it may have to be more specific and I may have to have more open conversations.
I am curious about how families with many children with disabilities (and none of my kids are identified as having any beyond ADHD which does not qualify them for an IEP or 504 because they are so "smart.") deal with the custody issue if all parents die. Who will raise your children and are they truly prepared? I think my family is inclined to support family, but I .......