Sometimes I think my life is a long running foreign language film without the subtitles. I walk around trying to interpret what the hell is going on feeling like my head might pop off at some point. Between my oldest son and my mother, I get a daily opportunity to hone my interpretation skills of any given situation.
One of Bailey’s coworkers has a sister with Down syndrome who lives in Tennessee. His boss asked if it would be okay if she were to call him as friends. Of course, I agreed, so the other night the two chatted by phone. Now, after a 15 minute conversation he informed me that she is his girlfriend. I responded, “Sure, she is a girl and a friend.” He hates when I do that because to him, they are a couple. So, he proceeded to argue with me. I comply only so he will not be so annoyed and ask what her name is to which he has no response. “If she is your girlfriend, then it would be helpful to know her name. Girls kind of like that.” He proceeded to roll his eyes and go back downstairs.
My mother on the other hand has a more complex way of communicating. We have been periodically meeting one of her best friends and daughter for dinner. It gets both of them out of the house and they really seem to enjoy it. So, my mother had called regarding the dinner we had scheduled for this week.
“It is really going to be cold tomorrow.”
“Actually, not as cold as it has been.”
“My hair looks bad. I haven’t felt up to going to get it done since Christmas.”
“Do you want to cancel the dinner?”
“I am flexible. Why don’t you see what everyone else wants to do?”
“So you do want to go?”
“My hair looks bad and it is going to be so cold.”
“Mom, do you or do you not want to go out to dinner?”
“No, I would rather not.” Color me super confused. Some days I feel like I need an interpreter for daily living. So, she might have cancelled, but we are going as planned.
I suppose it is my job to breakdown the language barriers. Between a special needs individual and an elderly mother, who both have processing issues when it comes to communicating, it really begins with me. Sometimes I forget that tiny tidbit of information. I often find myself exasperated with both of them losing my patience while trying to muddle through it all. It is a learning process. It is apparent I am at the beginner level and they are my teachers.