Our fourth day was a little more relaxed in terms of both hours and kilometres driven. After three days of 9 hour and 900 km driven daily we only travelled about 6 hours and just over 600 kilometres from Brandon, Manitoba to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
It was cool today so my travelling companion left his sandals in the suitcase, and I noticed he had red laces! Not red sneakers, but it’s a start.
The maiden continued her fourth day of participation. She spent 9 minutes walking and playing with our dog Franklin.
We adopted Franklin in May and he is still learning how to walk nicely on a leash. And at a very strong 83 lbs, he is too much for either the maiden or the crone to walk – so he has to make do with exercise in the yard while I’m away.
Not only is this the longest I have left Franklin, it will be the longest in 10 years the maiden and I have been apart. It will be a good opportunity for her to practice independence.
She still says she wants to live with me forever; and while I understand her fears of going into the world, because of all the trauma and challenges she has, I have started to speak to her about the importance of becoming independent. Every person has the right to create a life of his/her choosing. She will require supports in many areas of her life, for the rest of her life, but those supports will change as she learns new skills. The profiles of the individuals for the Virtual Relay for the Red Shoes Rock campaign have been a great tool and resource to share with the maiden. She sees that there are many individuals living successful lives with FASD.
My job is to help her achieve independence – in a way that works for her. So although I feel some guilt leaving her for two weeks, we will both be better off for it.
For information and support in Saskatchewan there is The FASD Network of Saskatchewan. It is the provincial organization that works with families, children, and adults affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. A group of dedicated parents came together in the early 1990’s seeking support and understanding. They had common concerns about the challenges related to parenting children affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol. When the Network began very little was known about FASD. Families faced stigma, lack of services, and misunderstanding. You can find more information clicking on this link: http://www.skfasnetwork.ca/home
Update from Alberta tomorrow.