For those of you who have been waiting to hear how the move went, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post. My life has been, to put it mildly, hectic.
Dude was supposed to move the first week of April, but then it got pushed back a week. We weren’t particularly pleased because we had been mentally prepared for the first week of April, but such is life. You make plans, things change, and you adapt. Honestly, the extra week of preparation was extremely useful.
Before I give the rundown, here is the takeaway message: the transition went as well as we could have hoped!
Dude went off to his program in the morning as usual. Dad and I made the first run up to house with the mattress and split box spring shortly after 9am. If you want a funny mental image, picture us shoving a queen sized mattress into the back of a minivan. That was good times. Once the initial trip was complete, we didn’t get back up to the house again until after 1pm. At that point, it was a mad dash to unpack everything and try to hang some of the decorations on the bedroom wall before Dude arrived a bit past 3pm.
The residential supervisor and the staff person in charge of the 3pm-11pm shift went and picked Dude and his new roommate up from their program. Thankfully, Dude entered the house all smiles. He had woken up in a good mood that morning and it stayed throughout the day.
We then ordered pizza and had dinner with Dude’s roommate’s family and the staff who will be working with the residents. While Dad and I were in Dude’s room hanging photos, we could hear Dude making his new acquaintances laugh. The kid is quite the charmer when he wants to be.
After dinner, Dude’s roommate and his siblings (both around my age) started up a game of Wii Bowling. I helped Dude play a game. He didn’t quite get the whole combination of which buttons you push when and how hard you need to swing your arm, but he was making progress by the end! He really likes bowling, so hopefully that’s something he’ll learn to do and that they can do together for fun.
I started crying when Dude’s roommate’s family left. Not uncontrollably, but enough. I was doing SO WELL right up until then and had hopes I was going to make it through without any problems.
Saying “see you later” to Dude was a classic Dude way to do it.
Dude’s obsession for the past year has been his t-shirts. He’ll stand with his closet door open and look through all of them and pull out ones that he especially likes to hang from his dressers. On moving day, he was GLUED to his new closet, taking stock of all the shirts to make sure they were accounted for since they had moved locations.
Mom, Dad, and I went in individually to say goodnight and goodbye to him since he wouldn’t walk away from the silly closet. I held it together, but barely, and I think Dude realized that because he actually gave me a legitimate hug. Like two arms, applying pressure, head resting on my shoulder, and lightly patting my back two or three times. For a full minute. That RARELY happens.
We left while he was still occupied because I think that made it easier on all of us. We sat in silence on the car ride home until I wordlessly pulled this gem up on my phone:
What can I say? When all else fails, I try to make myself laugh.
Mom checked in the next morning to discover that Dude had woken up in good spirits again. Apparently he was awake at 1:30am sitting at his desk looking at the photo collages I had made, but we think it was more of a “this is new and I want to examine it” kind of thing (he never had wall decorations in his room at our parents’ house) rather than a “holy crap my family left me in this strange house and now I need to look at pictures for comfort” thing. He had also been giving our parents a pretty hard time with sleeping for the past 3 months, so it isn’t unusual for him to awake in the middle of the night.
We’re more than a week into the move now and Dude seems to be settling in well. We’ve heard some reassuring anecdotes about his interactions with staff members and his roommate. We also saw him this past Sunday and he seemed like his usual self. So yay!
I called Dad to check in on Saturday and see how they were doing with their first Dude-free weekend.
“Well,” he began. “It’s weird.”
“How so?” I asked.
“I finished drinking my coffee and I thought, ‘Have to see if Dude is awake so I can get breakfast read— Wait… no I don’t.’ And then I did some more things around the house and thought, ‘Hmm, what time is it? I should probably think about bathing Du–. Wait, I don’t have to do that either!’ It’s really throwing me off, but at least I’ve gotten a lot done around the house.”
So, we’re adjusting. But everything really did go as well as could be expected. Dude seems no worse for the wear and we’re really happy with how it went.
Editor’s note: I may be making some aesthetic changes to According to Dude, so don’t freak out if you visit the blog in the next few days and the layout theme is totally different. Any changes are intentional!