I ran jogged around most of the block yesterday morning — .75 of the block to be exact.  I need to get my body moving and nothing that I have done before is appealing right now.  Perhaps yoga or more tai chi but spring is coming and I yearn — yearn is a bit too strong to put the impulse — to be moving outside.  Gardening is out of the question right now.  Mud, mud, mud.  And there is still little bits of snow all over the yard.  And I’ve never tried a run.  The fact that Cheshire and Lisa have done it and are trying to make a Thanksgiving run part of our holiday celebration make me curious.

Julia is performing in the Spring Strings Festival today.  She passed — could play the song by memory — three tunes.  That puts her at level 2.  There are a lot of fifth grade kids at level 2.  She probably worked harder than most of those kids to learn and memorize those tunes.  And she is the only kid out of hundreds who has an aide sitting next to her, but she is there and playing.  Watching the rehearsal yesterday afternoon, I almost burst into tears.  I am so proud of her.  So happy for her.  Of course, when I told her, she was polite and happy to be doing the concert, but it was no big deal to her.  And isn’t that wonderful too?

There is a new sadness in the collage.  I am so proud of Julia and her playing.  Especially proud because music was such an important part of our family when Cheshire was growing up.  The sadness comes from not having anyone to share this pride and happiness with.  No one who knows the day-to-day struggles and can bask in the sunshine of rewards.  I guess I’ve felt this before, since David died, but when I did it was mixed with so much grieving that the feeling did not stand out.  And there were so many more days of struggle than of triumph so the achievements were not quite there to stand out.  Living away from family during Cheshire’s growing up, there were never grandparents or aunt and uncles to enjoy successes, but just us and our friends were enough.  Today, I text Cheshire and post of Facebook and send an email to Julia’s teacher.  Right now,  I want to scream that that is not enough!

I sit drinking tea, my head aching from being so close to tears.  I am grateful for every “like” and comment on Facebook.  Cheshire will write and be happy for us, and Julia’s teacher will be thrilled.  Would I have felt this alone had I chosen to be a single mother?  Certainly, life would have been full of circumstances like today.  Of course, I might have dealt with this sorrow when baby first walked.

The other truly incredible things about yesterday’s rehearsal was that Julia saw lots of kids she knew from both school and church school.  She said hello to all of them and called them by name.  Her therapy and school teams have been working on greetings and having her recognize individual kids for this entire school year.  At the beginning of the year, she did not know the names of many of the kids in her class, and I don’t think that it mattered to her.  They were “the kids” or “guys” to her.  I think they were a blur of noise and movement in her consciousness.  In the Fall, she and I sat with the composite class pictures for her class and the class that is paired with hers.  We reviewed names almost every night for a few months.  She learned the names but I did not see much generalization for what seemed like a long time.  Recently, when she tells me the three things she did during the day, names of different kids have surfaced.  Her observations are not deep but she calls one or the other her friend or her best friend.  There are still many times when she does not “hear” greetings said to her, but last night she had something to offer to everyone that she knew.

And math word problems, of which we do three every night, are getting ever so slightly easier.

Julia is on a roll!

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