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The week passed very quickly.  It was Thursday before I realized the Tuesday had ended.  We did lots of “things.”  We both struggled with the transition from school life to vacation life.  As much as Julia has transition challenges, my transmission faulted time and time again and I did grind the family gears repeatedly as we sought the new normal.

During the week, I finished the big spring garden job of mulching.  With Julia’s help and forbearance.  On one hand, I hate the specificity of the process–clear all weeds, dig the defining trench and heap on the chips hauled in black plastic bags from our free town mulching site.  On the other, I get to make many garden decisions–what is weed, when is overgrown, what is taking over.  I get to edit my garden.  And I get to interact with every plant–congratulating the delphinium in glory, enouraging the new hollyhocks, clearing space for the little holly in the back garden and appreciating the bed that is growing up surrounding David’s bench.  To do all of this, with Julia either helping or sitting doing math and reading near by is no small task.  And we did it.

We’ve been bike riding, not every day as is my silent goal, but often.  The rides are longer and slowly Julia is becoming confident.  She is using her brakes more and jumping off the seat less.  She is looking both ways when she needs to cross streets.  I bought her tie sneakers for the first time in years!  She has not been able to tie bows quickly before this, making tie shoes too time consuming and stealing a bit of dressing independence.  There is no need to tie with slip ons and velcro, but the colorful pair of sneaks that she wanted had ties and although it still takes her a bit longer than would be usual to dress, she is preserving and doing a more than adequate job.  She is angling for heels which is completely age appropriate.  My question is, and probably a question because I’ve avoided heels for most of my adult life, where would she wear them?  Not school.  Not to the movies with me.  Church?  We have a wedding to go to in the fall.  That will be a fine venue for heels.  A new dress and heels that she can wear through the holidays wherever we will be.

Temple Grandin was in town for a fundraiser for our local therapeutic riding facility.  I have wanted to see her for years and indeed, she was all I expected.  She is a good, albeit very different, speaker.  It is, as I’ve always tried to believe, good to hear a voice of a different sort.  I have tried to be that voice during those times I stuttered greatly although I readily admit that my resolve and bravery collapsed very often.  Temple is a hero.  For me.  And generous.  Being in her company strengthens my resolve.

I’ve been thinking about life themes a good deal for a story I must tell tomorrow night.  I’ve come to believe that a main theme in my life is disability.  A theme that I would have much rather have far behind me.  But there it is.

We stopped all work yesterday and had fun.  Ok, so the kid did a bit of math and reading.  And cello.  We rode our bikes around our bay and rented a paddle boat to get out onto the water.  Cheshire’s rowing club was at a regatta and I felt a bit in synchrony with her.  Yes, just a little bit.  We paddled, then biked home.  Julia did not complain at all, in fact, she wanted to paddle the boat on her own for much of the time.  I did not complain.  And how amazing for my girl who has built her core strength so splendidly.

We went to a Mallards Baseball game last night with our church.  I was fine, not excited but found some nice folks to talk to.  Julia had a great time.  Would that she had one more sports-minded parent!  She could love football and soccer and basketball, and who knows, cricket too.

Today, we are finishing a origami project  that Julia began yesterday.  Of course, it is the most time consuming one in a little book she likes.  She is still in process of folding 24 sheets in a particular way.  I’m helping to sew them together.  I started helping when I realized how long this process would take.  Six more to fold!