soloing

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DSC_9073West High School Choir concert last night.  Julia had a solo in the Freshman Choir’s rendition of Sia’s Rainbow.

There is backstory.

Julia has choir class every day.  We, the indomitable Anthony Cao and I, worked very intentionally helping Julia with appropriate choir behavior, that is, standing still, watching him and singing, not talking.  Julia and I have done a standing meditation since November to find out what her body does when it is still and lots of reminders (and lots of praise) for the other points.   Continue reading

self-pity

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9DD6D52A-8C94-4DDF-BC20-243AFE0DDD5D“Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.”
                         ~Joan Didion

With a very big sigh of relief, I count another mother’s day over.  My feelings about the holiday remain the same as they were four years ago and I am still not proud of them.  Of course, I am not proud. The feelings are still all about self-pity.  Which is ugly and such a damm nuisance. 

When I first read Joan Didion’s “The year of magical thinking,” I did not understand those first  lines quoted above.  I rather shamefacedly admit that I didn’t understand them for a very long time.  What was so bad about some very well deserved self-pity? Continue reading

coming of age

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AE0CBD2F-5AED-4BE1-BC55-3651153B147EIt is spring!  Tulip are on parade.  I’ve changed to capris and flip-flops. Around town the Redbud trees are in bloom.  They are my favorite spring trees. I “saw” them for the first time as I drove from Bloomington to Indianapolis for my first post-law school job which (as a classmates reminds me on Facebook today) was 26 years ago.  I planted a Redbud in my Indianapolis garden and though there is no room to plant one now, I eagerly await their blooming every year.   Continue reading

dystopian gardening 

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7822C7DC-92EE-42E4-86EC-B71B7E2D7C69Has no one else noticed?  There are very few daffodils blooming.  This unnerving phenomenon is particularly apparent in my garden.  I have planted shit loads of daffs and narcissus over the years and I anticipate enough blooms to cut  several dozen inside. “A host of golden daffodils.”  This year’s crop, front and back garden is a handful, maybe 7. No, not even 7.  My next neighbor usually has a drift on the side of her house facing my side door.  It is a micro climate that blooms in full glory at least a week before mine.  This year, she has less than a dozen. Continue reading

travel update

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Beginning of our Alaskan cruise last summer!  This summer, a new adventure.

8 Weeks until we go ‘down under’!  Down under what?  I have to look that up.  Eight weeks before we go to Australia!  The count down has begun in earnest! 

And so have the tasks.  

Julia had the day off on Friday, so we went to the post officer and sent in the documents for her new passport.  This time it is an adult passport (her first) and valid for 10 years.  Her current passport, a kid’s edition which is good for only 5 years (and yet costs the same), expires a week after we return from Australia.  I asked the postal clerk why a passport must be valid for six months after a planned trip out of the country.  She responded directly and cheerfully, “Just in case of a terrorist attack.  You could need to stay somewhere for awhile.”  I may have lost just a bit of color in my cheeks.  And that’s what you get for asking questions! Continue reading

present moment

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355B6050-7478-471F-8B9B-EEC9ED3632C2This is a picture of Julia walking to class.  Her case manager sent it to me yesterdy.  He wrote:  “Hey, I was following Julia and a peer in the hall, talking like best buds.  Not sure who her friend is, but I’m happy she has made strong connections with reg ed peers.”

It is a great picture.

When I looked at it, my first impulse, after a good hearted motherly smile, is to race to the story of Julia making a friend, going over someone’s house, talking too long on the phone, telling secrets to someone (not me), going to a sleepover, having a party.  And then, I stop.   Continue reading

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Sometime in February, I decided that we would be going to Australia this summer.  I have both  a friend and cousins in Sydney.  I nailed down timing—Julia’s spring extracurricular, the Penguin Project, has a closing night of June 24.  Cheer (crossing my fingers that the new coach will allow Julia on the team) begins around August 1.  With those date in mind, I bought Quantas tickets in the middle of March.  Unfortunately, I bought them two weeks before a sale and paid a few hundred bucks more, proving that there is no way to insure the best price for plane tickets.  There is a recommended time frame in which to buy international tickets and I was right there.  I had seen a sale around Christmas but I wasn’t ready to commit.  There was no way of knowing that Quantas would have another sale.  I wonder if a travel agent could have done better? Continue reading

birthday girl

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A few of the many lovely, earnest, silly, wondrous, beautiful and outrageous adult faces of my beloved first born on the day she celebrates 33 journeys around the sun.  Happy Birthday, my dearest girl!  I am looking forward to snapping a few pics during the next 33.

looking for . . .

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Casting the widest net I can.  I’m looking for a way for Julia to organize and remember.  These are two big challenges that she has.  I know she is not an unusual teenager in this regard but without these skills life is pretty stressful for her.  For us.

The usual assignment notebook is not enough.  Neither is simply supplying her binders, pocket folders and accordion folders (Her favorite right now).  She needs a system.  And she needs it to appeal to her visual learning style.

I envision an app to use with her cell phone and iPad to replace her assignment notebook.  Something that would be easy to add to or link other web pages, etc. to.

And then a physical system to use with notebooks or binders or folders.

If anyone has any idea or system or can recommend something to read to help me in this, PLEASE let me know.

reclaiming passover

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73294681-8865-471C-BD31-9183956D91C9It seems like a long time ago now that we, make that I, reclaimed Christmas.  I don’t expect that the winter holidays will always be perfectly smooth but our last Christmas and then New Years cruise seemed to reset my holiday clock better than anything else.  Distinct differences and concrete plans worked miracles.  Prior to last year, I was not only missing our pre-death holiday ‘routine’ but also missing the friends with whom we shared many thanksgivings and a few Christmases—people and plans I thought would never change.  Then there was change.  Ah, embracing those Noble Truths.

Last Friday, another holiday clock ‘got’ reset— Passover.  David and I enjoyed hosting seders since before we were living together.  How many years ago was that? (Only Jan knows.)  Our seders evolved and sometimes disappeared while we were in school or traveling.  When we lived on Washington Boulevard in Indy, we had room for big parties and we indulged.  I don’t remember when David started writing our Haggadahs or when we began expecting Cheshire to play or write something for the celebration.  We cooked, many times for days.  I think it was the only time I’d take a day off work to get ready. Continue reading