It's stormy out, the ferries are cancelled, and I see the trees are fair lashing about down in the glen. Sam is not a happy camper.
"The wind wants to sleep with us tonight."
I promise to have a word with it.
He's not convinced, "No, it's shouting too loud, it won't hear."
"Well, we won't let it in, okay?"
Agitated now, "That's no good, it'll just bang the door and knock on the window all night!"
"Sam, please DO NOT open your window tonight."
Upset, "It wants in!"
"Oka-aay, well, it can come sleep with me then, alright?"
Looking him squarely in the eye, I find I can't lie, this lad's had to wear far too many broken promises from me as of late.
"Och no love, I'm sorry. But how about if I put a mattress down in my room and you come in to sleep with me?"
A frustrated sigh, "No."
(Bloody cheek! That's a heinous distortion - I do NOT snore - he tells EVERYONE this! I may breathe a little heavily at times, but it's his dad who's the champion snorer! As far as Sam is concerned, as his daddy walks on water, that God-awful racket in the dead of night simply has to be from my throat, not from his precious father's, oh my, no, for you see his daddy - unlike me - is just as perfect as perfect can be, and even then some, with a flaming halo attached to the top. Um, oopsie, I'm ranting, aren't I? Sorry.)
I sure hope the roof doesn't blow off tonight..
Turning eighteen is not proving easy. As an "adult", Sam no longer qualifies for a placement in full-time education, well, he wasn't given that last year, either - full time education that is - but he did at least have a four day, part-time placement on a life-skills course at our local college, where he was able to mix and to socialise with other folk such as himself.
This course ended in early July, and Sam's been offered no other daily outlet from home, other than the two part-time days he's only recently begun (three weeks ago) back at college. A third day was then later added, working at a garden centre - which he now absolutely loves. They give him a wage-packet (£2) at the end of the day, which he is SO proud of. It makes him feel validated, useful and worthy, and is building his self-esteem up no end!
So yes, that's great, and certainly a welcome change from the months of having had only his boring, old mother to hang out with all day. Thank God for his evening clubs, those run by several charities, otherwise he may have gone plum stir-crazy. (Of course, it still falls to me or to his dad to get him to where he needs to be, and home again.)
So yes, three days a week Sam is now given a purpose to his day. However, we were promised (months ago) he could count on having a five day week in place by now, and Sam is keenly aware of that.
Over the summer, at the urging of Sam's newly-appointed social worker, we visited with and enrolled Sam up to attend a scheme we are all very excited about. We were given to believe this would begin on the same week as he re-started college.
This place is a recently opened new venture to the isle, specifically geared to offer work-shops and social outlets, to young adults who live within the autistic spectrum. They cover everything from bicycle repair, painting and decorating, computing, or cookery, to loom-weaving, carpentry, gardening or pottery - all taught in this shiny-bright, wonderfully equipped, purpose-built centre.
His social worker recommended Sam have a full two day placement there, and after meeting him, the centre happily endorsed this. We were delighted, as Sam has fallen in love with the place. I can't tell you what a great vibe there is there, the energy, warmth and dedication of the people running these workshops is obvious.
So yes, poor Sam has been asking me every day, "Is it this week I start at the centre?" I invariably tell him perhaps, but I'm not sure, because I'm still waiting to hear back from them. Sam is lost without his time-table, he doesn't comprehend uncertainty - in his world things are either black or white. And he TRUSTS me. I have lied to him.
I call Sam's social worker at least twice weekly to ask what's happening, but he always seems to be on the brink of waiting for his line manager to approve it, or for her to have a meeting with her boss to give us the go-ahead, but then it seems that he, her boss, must now chase the bean-counters down, to release the funding required for his placement to happen there..
And so it goes on..
Being told it was a given, I've allowed Sam to set his heart on this place. Last week his social worker came back to tell me he can only hope to secure ONE day a week there for Sam now. Imagine how betrayed Sam felt. I had PROMISED him two days.
On Monday his social worker expressed concern there may not be enough money in the pot to secure any place at all now for Sam there, but that he's still working on it.
Wednesday, he told me everything is on hold. The centre manager had to leave due to personal circumstances, and until the staffing issue is resolved there, nothing can move.
I am so verily tempted to apply for this position, myself. What do you think?