Random Thoughts from Childhood Series-The Visits
There we're several types of visits from family members while in Ivy House. The first one involved a family member coming to Ivy House and meeting in a cottage. I don't recall ever having one myself with an adult family member at cottage one, but I do remember this one kid having a family member show up. It played out with the adult walking to the cottage and us kids acting like puppies in a pet store jockeying for the best position to get attention. A group of my peers and me performed the bump (a dance in the 70s) for this one adult. It must have been overwhelming for this adult as she was simply trying to enjoy her visit, but was being pestered like flies at picnic from all us kids.
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I do recall several visits at the office with my little brother and sister. The office provided a more private setting to meet and kept other kids out. Each time my brother and I met our younger siblings in a private room with books and toys. We would be escorted in the room and an adult would close the door leaving just us four in the room. This visit was always awkward for me. I never knew what to say or how I was supposed to act or what the meaning of the visit meant. I never knew when the visits would happen which took place only about two or three times while I was in Ivy House. These meetings normally lasted about an hour. The closed door sessions made me feel like a rat in an experiment. Us four kids with the door closed and adults watching through windows. Each one played out the same. My little brother playing with toys by himself on other side of room and I would be staring at my sister while my older brother said Hey.
The last type of visit was off Ivy House grounds. If you we're lucky enough, I thought, you would get to stay at a family's house for the weekend. These visits like the rest where never announced a head of time nor did you ever know if this would be your first or last visit while in Ivy House. They could be four months, nine months, a year, or more between each one. There never seemed to be a rhyme or reason for the timing between visits. My brother and I on several occasions got to spend the weekend with our mom. A year had gone by before our first visit with our mom. This was the first time since being place at Ivy House that either of us got to see or speak to our mom. I was extremely excited to see her the first time and thought my brother and I we're going home for good.
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Posted in Childrens services Post Date 11/30/2016