Linda looks forwards to things… Meeting people, birthdays, pocket money day or her next meal. All seem to be anticipated with equal, sometimes intense excitement.
One of the things that I have grown accustomed to is sitting down to a long anticipated meal, sometimes something that in it’s own right was celebrated as a special occasion, only to be greeted a mouthful or two into the food with “Sister, can I ask you a question?”.
At this point I know exactly what to expect so it doesn’t take me by surprise any more.
I guess it still draws a sigh from the depths as it’s often the case that I’ve made a special effort to prepare her favourite meal or to take her to a special place for lunch. Barely has the food flavoured her mouth than she pauses and asks “What are we having for tea?”.
She seems to have no understanding at all of why this might be inappropriate or cause frustration.
“Can’t you just enjoy this meal first?” I often wonder before reminding myself that her question isn’t meant to imply a dissatisfaction with what she’s currently eating although thats an easy assumption to make. She’s just intensely interested in what’s coming next.
This phenomenon isn’t restricted to food. We may have spent the best part of a long day travelling to a holiday destination. I’ll usually unpack her things first before settling into my own room. As we sit down to our first cup of tea I’ll know to expect “Sister, can I ask you a question?” pause… “When are we going home?”.
It’s always the next thing that is the greatest source of interest or fascination. I often feel very sorry that she seems unable to enjoy the present moment, no matter how much it has been anticipated. I can’t say for certain whether it affects or reflects how happy she is with anything but her enjoyment of any present moment is, at one and the same time, amazing and once the word has left her mouth or the thought crossed her mind, totally fleeting.
Recently though I had the best yet. One evening while watching TV I had the usual “Sister, can I ask you a question?” followed by an unusual admission of “I know I shouldn’t be asking this…”. “No, go on.” I encouraged. She came out with a classic.
“What will be be having for Christmas dinner?” she asked.
It was May 5th and Christmas was over 7 months ahead….
Now is this just Linda or something more typical of people with Williams Syndrome?
Do let me know!