It was a day of big decisions. We all have those days. Days when the things you do and say will affect both your future and the future of those around you. Days where your thoughts will become actions and your actions will have consequences that are beyond your control. The nature of my job is that I have to be able to make decisions quickly, to think on my feet (sounds better than 'on my ass' but that would be more accurate), and to roll (ah, this one works) with the punches.
There is something exhilarating in making decisions because it denotes that you have a wee bit of control and at least a few options. Having choices means selecting some and not others, one amongst many. Having choices means that there are pathways that you will not walk. Things that you need to say goodbye to. Options that will be closed, now forever. It's a big deal. Very big deal.
Many of my choices are meaningless ones that come around daily - where I can change up and switch around with no particular sense of concern. No one really cares if I wear red or yellow or black. No one but me. It's a choice that's wonderful to have but doesn't matter. Today, the choices mattered. All day they mattered. To me. To others. All freaking day.
So when I got home, finally home, Joe offered me a very simple choice. Did I want tea, or did I want sparkling lemonade. Now, I should have thought about how nice it was to have someone who would make or get me something. But instead, I kind of flipped out. It seemed one choice too many, one decision over the line. I was simply done with it and snipped when I should have thanked.
In the end, Joe just made the choice for me ... and gave me lemonade. It was only then that I realized that I really wanted tea.
Choices, they may be a burden sometimes - but aren't you glad you have them. Decisions, they may be a bother sometimes - but you never, really, should give them over to another.
Because you end up drinking lemonade when you really wanted tea.
And that's the life that people with intellectual disabilities have lived with for generations.