Changes.

Tonight, I met with Joshua’s case manager for perhaps the last time. She was told when she submitted our last review that she should plan to discharge him by March 10th, and, after she and I exchanged a few emails, we agreed that the time had come. This is a bittersweet milestone, because while it means that Joshua is receiving the support he needs at home, it also means I’m losing a support. She has been a wealth of knowledge, a sympathetic ear, an advocate, and an ally. We both waxed nostalgic this evening, her remembering each of the teachers’ classrooms she’s visited over the years, me remembering her delivering clothes and bedding and goodwill vouchers and a hug before Joshua’s state checks were transferred over while I was mostly unemployed.

Most of the time, the kid I live with seems to have always been just as he is – boisterous and silly and occasionally maddeningly teenaged. But the fact of it is, over the past year and a bit, Joshua has developed into an entirely different person from the boy who came to stay for good last January. One who – not always, but frequently – wants to engage with others. One who knows how to care for himself in ways that were unimaginable a year ago. One who, more often than not, speaks in full sentences, asks for what he wants and needs, performs routine tasks without assistance, and has a personality that is not hidden from all but those few people who are a part of his everyday life.

I’ve got quite the rad young man over here. And his case manager got to see that happen. For that, I am truly grateful.