Sunday, March 06, 2005

Well wouldn't ya know?

Just when I'd run out of things to blog about, my mother-in-law calls up and gives me something.

She's decided to pass something down to us. Before she dies. I bet nobody in the world would guess what it is, either. She's passing down my brother-in-law.

Mike will be 28 in May, and he's always lived with his parents. He's sweet, intelligent, and completely and totally socially inept. I believe he is autistic, like Perrin, and has several learning disabilities. He's a capable guy - he has a bachelor's degree, works full time, and owns a car . But he has a hell of a time communicating anything or making decisions on his own. Plus, Mommy has always taken care of him. He's probably never done his own laundry in his life. He doesn't have his own bank account - he's on his parents'. She wrote his papers for him in school. Mommy has been there to guide (manipulate) his every movement. Right now, they're in Vegas. He's fallen in with the wrong crowd - a crowd of younger people who take advantage of him. That happens quite easily because he's so socially naive. He's become severely depressed, and my mother-in-law doesn't know how to handle it anymore.

So we're the solution. She called yesterday morning and spoke with me for 45 minutes. She asked me to talk with my husband, seriously, about "taking" Mike. So we talked. And we decided that if Mike wanted to come out here, he is welcome. It will mean we have to rearrange the house a bit. The boys will be moved to the basement (currently a huge, huge playroom). Mike will then take their bedroom. It will give him a place of his own. A place to hide from the kids. It will give him the privacy that he'll need more than 10 and 6 year old boys. We'll have to buy another dining room chair (they're all mismatched anyway) and some extra bath towels. No big deal there. He'll pay "rent" that will cover the extra costs of grocery, electric, and water bills.

Our only "condition" is that he have a job lined up before he moves out here. We're financially stable right now. Our ends meet every month. But it would cause a strain to add to our bills without also adding to our income. And with his difficulty communicating, I'm not sure he'd be able to find a job here within a reasonable amount of time. He currently works security in an airport, and he has the option to put in for a transfer to this area. So that ought to work out alright. If he's unhappy with that job once he gets here, then he's welcome to put in applications elsewhere.

I feel as if we are taking on a lifelong commitment. Even if we're able to assist him in learning how to handle day to day household tasks and he is able to move out on his own, he'll still need supervision to some degree. And who is to say that he'll ever move out on his own? He may be with us forever. I'm prepared for that, if that's what it takes to make sure he is taken care of. He's family.