Chapter Description: A quick look at another part of town and a very strange "daycare" for "children" with a very rare "condition".
Chapter 12: Pickup without picking up a thing...
As Tom and Katlynn Dean were getting home, and dreams of a faraway land outside of time and space prepared to make Tom’s evening slow to a crawl, other, less fortunate (some might argue more fortunate) people were also being picked up from their place of learning. ‘Learning’ might be too strong a word to be accurate, but these locales had lots of resources about learning letters, shapes, colors, numbers, animal sounds and the like. And gosh darn it, everyone attending was just having a golly gosh good ol’ time at doing it!
For Molly Simpson of Trenton, New Jersey, it was at Happy Hearts Exceptional Student Daycare, just after she clocked out of her restaurant (and it was her restaurant) to go pick up her daughter. Her husband would handle the dinner rush, as per usual.
For Dan Buckman of Sacramento California, it was just a quick trot over from his successful used car lot to check on his son at the Institute for Developmental Delays.
The Church of Second Chances had a wonderful religious community that had practically sprung up to support Marie De Plantagenet in paris. Both of her children were afforded free care there, and she didn’t hesitate to donate a large sum of her considerable profits to it each year.
The dance was always the same for these parents and their many many counterparts. They’d come in, chat for a moment with whichever nanny-type was available about their child’s progress (not that progress was ever truly expected), and then they’d be on their way back home, their not-quite little bundle in tow, and all involved would be nothing but smiles.
All the parents considered themselves extremely lucky; not only to have been successful enough to live a life where they could comfortably support themselves and their children, but to have found such places and communities to provide care in the first place. It was all just so lucky. So fortunate. So comfortable.
So what if their child was never going to grow past four feet? Or go on a date? Or learn to care for themselves in any meaningful way, potty training included? They’d known that from the outset, and they were happy about it.
Who wouldn’t want an eternal baby to love and cuddle and care for? Deep down, they knew they were lucky. Deep down, they knew everyone loved their adult children and saw them the same way, as adorable toddlers in need of some extra TLC. Deep down, they knew all of this.
What they didn’t know was that doors to the various Institutes, Centers, Adult Daycares, Special Ed. Rooms, Church Nurseries, and so on all led to the same room once past the threshold. Regardless of name or region, it was always the same place with the same staff and the same ‘kids’.
What they didn’t know was that neither time nor time zone was a factor in this place. It was always drop off in the morning, and pickup in the afternoon, and for some reason the fact that one nineteen year old baby lived in New Mexico while their twenty-eight year old playmate spent their weekends in Japan never seemed to bother the parents, the staff, or the people in their care.
None of the parents even knew each other. They didn’t even stop to think what a strange coincidence it was that after years of enrollment they’d never encountered another parent. All just ‘coincidentally’ picking up their darling, crinkling ‘little ones’, up one at a time. Nevermind any perceived language barriers.
They were just happy that they’re children could be treated like ‘normal’ kids for their entire lives and that they had a support network of staff and peers just like them, and the money to pay for it all.
What they definitely didn’t know was that their children hadn’t always had this special condition; that their memories had been misted away and that their children once had all of the physical and mental capabilities considered ‘average’ for their chronological age and level of development. Some had even moved out of the house before this condition had taken ahold of them and thrown their identities back into the cradle.
Some might have even made something spectacular of themselves (now the only thing spectacular was the messes they made in their diapers after a stomach bug). That was before this strange condition got to them, before this affliction wiped away their personalities and the memory of everyone close to them.
But whether they knew it or not, they were just as blessed and afflicted as their eternal dependents. Ignorance really could be bliss.