Posted by Sara Freedman

Norwood HouseIn August 2010, JF&CS opened the Yellow House, our first community supported living program for seven young adults with mild developmental disabilities. Almost four years later, JF&CS has 12 community supporting living houses and apartments with 68 residents! Cedar House, the newest addition, opened in Malden on June 15. It is exciting for new residents and their families. However, like all transitions in life, it is bittersweet as well, especially for the residents' parents. On the eve of the Cedar House opening, Beth, whose son moved into the Cedar House in June, wrote this poem while reflecting on the upcoming changes she was going to experience:

His Bedroom Door

Like a sentry at a watch-post,
I have spent
At his bedroom door.
As a baby:
Listening to hear if he was finally asleep;
I don't open the door, even a crack,
Lest he wake, crying,
And I must start all over again
To get him to sleep.
As a young boy:
Newfound freedom from a crib;
Like a spy,
I crack the door barely open,
Just enough to see
When a sleeper-clad foot
Makes its way out of bed and into mischief.
"Get back in bed."
And back he goes,
But my sentry duty is not done
Until he finally abandons his escapes
And falls asleep.

As a teenager:
I listen before I go to bed;
He is rustling something,
Fussing with something
That is keeping him awake.

"Put that away or I shall take it from you."
And he puts it away,
But my sentry duty is not done
Until he finally settles down
And falls asleep.
As a young man:
I listen at his door before I go to bed;
He does not need a sentry anymore,
For I have taught him well
How to fall asleep on his own.
And so he shall, but now:
Away from me.

Yet before I go to bed:
I know I will still
Glance at his bedroom door.

Sara Freedman joined the CHAI Works staff in 2006 as an intern and has held a variety of roles in the program. Now the Director of Community Programs, she has a degree in human development and psychological services as well as psychology from Northwestern University. Sara enjoys scrapbooking, hiking, baking, travelling, and being a Boston sports fan enthusiast!