I’ve noted before that I often wonder when is the right time to let the children know. I am now comfortable with the decision to hold off as long as we can, but can’t help wondering if the week with the family this summer in Jackson Hole might not give the children a reason to suspect. Having talked with Kate, I know that she is far from ready to mention anything to anyone.
A related issue is when do you (Kate) stop accepting certain responsibilities. She seems eager to volunteer for certain things that are hard for her. Last summer she volunteered to be the editor of our neighborhood association newsletter and directory. She was going to get an issue out last fall with pictures from a Labor Day picnic and our flag at half-staff for 9/11. She still hasn’t gotten the newsletter out.
Late Saturday afternoon when I got home from visiting Dad, she was very glad to see me. She had been working on the neighborhood association directory and was quite frustrated. She asked if I could spend Sunday afternoon helping her out. I agreed to do so. I should say that after lunch on Saturday I had created an Excel file she could use to enter any new neighbors or to update the information we have on existing ones. This was a simple matter in that I simply did a “”save as” from the original file she was given. Then I put the information in a form that she could work with more easily than the original file. I tried to ask her what she wanted me to do now, but she didn’t want to explain. This is a very, very common pattern in our relationship. It is difficult for her to explain things. The explaining part of her brain just isn’t working properly.
On Sunday afternoon we worked together to address her problem. It turns out that she needed to organize an existing hard copy of the directory. The way the directory had been assembled the names were organized by streets but neither arranged by house number nor alphabetically by names of the owners. That makes it very hard to locate a particular person. This is a very easy task akin to organizing a deck of cards, but she simply got too confused and couldn’t do it. I simply did it for her.
This raises the question of how long Kate can continue to do something like this. It is simply too difficult. She was called for jury duty by our municipal court last week and was excused because of her age. She was disappointed. She thought it would be interesting to serve. I, however, thought it would put her in an uncomfortable position since it would require asking her to comprehend arguments, remember details, and to render judgment on a person. These are all things that would have been difficult for her.