Day two of work is behind me and so far, so good. I really like all of the people I've met so far and it looks like I'll have a lot of freedom to define the specifics of this job. Actually accomplishing whatever goals I set for myself might be challenging due to a combination of office politics and institutional inertia, but it seems like shaking up the status quo might be part of the fun. The first thing I need to do is put together a wish list of computer, camera, video, audio and lighting equipment and software that I'll need to do my job, but so far I've been a little stymied by uncertainty in terms of what price point I should aim for. Particularly when it comes to buying a camera and lenses, it's hard to justify spending as much as I have on my own camera, but if I downgrade too much, then I might as well just USE my own camera. Maybe I'll leave that request until last and at least get myself set up with everything else.
Nathan has thus far tolerated my long absences remarkably well. It's best if I take the subtle approach when I leave the house and sneak out while he's still asleep or otherwise distracted, but it sounds like he and Jack have enjoyed their man time.
My only complaint is that the hour-long commute doesn't leave much wiggle time in my schedule. I leave the house at 7:30 am and get back after 6, so by the time we eat dinner (assuming I've done the prep ahead of time), put Nathan to bed and run over to visit my mom, it's already past my own bedtime. Last night, my mother had already crawled into bed when I got there, so I had to wake her up to help her change into pajamas and brush her teeth. Honestly, I'm doubtful that she even fully registered that I'd been there. I'll definitely be glad to get to the weekend so I can spend a little more meaningful time with her.
She does seem to be settling in a little better to her new surroundings. The medical directer told me that she actually seems to do best when I'm NOT there. She still tends to shut down on me whenever she gets the least bit upset or frustrated, but we're finally starting to have the occasional good visit too. We had a lovely morning last Saturday watching Nathan explore the activity room while I filed and polished her nails and she seemed to enjoy watching a movie on TV that evening with Jack, Nathan, Rudy and I.
Jack and Nathan stopped by for a brief visit this afternoon while I was at work and reported that she was absolutely chatty, though still difficult to understand. We've still got two more weeks of allowance on the respite stay before we'll need to commit to paying a sizable community fee, but I'm starting to feel a little more confident that the staff there will be able to sufficiently meet her care needs.
So all in all, the week has started off on a positive note. I'm going to take my camera in with me to work tomorrow so I can show off some of the quirkier aspects of my new workplace. Apparently the real exorcism that the Exorcist movie was based on occurred right outside my office window and there are interesting architectural oddities to the building like a door that goes nowhere and an entire wing of the fourth floor that nobody uses. If I can't find out the real stories here, I'll just have to make something up!