I am typing with two hands! After weeks of big splint/cast/smaller splint, I was released to type last week and this week I have managed two days without much hand support. The wrist bones are healed but the muscles and tendons of my hand and lower arm need much work to get back to normal.
It hurt to type at first which surprised me. Weak and stiff took on new meaning. Now, it is only a dull ache, but I still have a startling awkwardness of hand. As if my hand is too large for the keyboard and hitting exact keys is as much a matter of chance as anything else. And I am weak. I can cut lettuce and pick up an empty glass. I can wash my hair with both hands and fold clothes. Sort of. At the gym, I work out with a one pound weight. This weekend, I am cleaning the front garden beds and raking the lawn. Very slowly.
I have a new appreciation for this dominant hand of mine. It is fragile that must be encouraged, exercised and attended to. Metaphors abound—how often has the soul been fragile and I have just muscled through my days?
Spring! The tease of a season that has visited for a few brief days the last few weeks has finally come home to stay. Snow drops are almost finished and crocus are blooming on the terrace gardens. There are a lot of bulbs coming up on the terrace gardens and blue bells and bleeding hearts. As they bloom, I will dig them up to ready them to move and prepare the terrace beds for grass. This is the last of the “noxious weed” work that must be cared for. It does still hurt my heart but like my typing hand, it is a dull ache these days.
Storm windows were taken down on Friday and screens put up just in time to open windows. We sit on the front porch under our faded umbrella, she doing math, me doing my Italian.
Spring Break began on Friday for Julia. Friday was field trip day. Eighth graders went to workplaces for the morning. Her morning was spent at Epic, a medical software company that is either the coolest workplace in the world or the worst, depending upon who you talk to. She texted me after she had been there a little while and said it was ‘gorgeous.’ Not a word that she often uses.
After lunch, the school was going bowling. Julia has been anticipating this days for a few weeks. Ok, we rarely, no, we never go bowling. We did a long time ago. Twice I think and she was completely bored. I have never been a fan but perhaps when I can lift a bowling ball, we will try again. The first thing to said to me, arriving home after school: “Mom, I got a strike!”
When she first heard about bowling a few weeks ago, she was sure she was going that Friday. Then, the next Friday; then, the next. Time challenges still abound; however, each day this week she has been able to say how many more days until she was to bowl which I consider great progress.
She has been moving ahead in math this term. Her special ed teacher started her on a very elementary program at the beginning of the year and it had begun to pay off. Julia can count forwards and backwards by 1s, 2s, and 10s these days. She can decompose numbers and seems to be gaining an understanding of adding and subtracting that she did not previously have. She has been able to do those operations for a long time, but understand them, she did not. They also worked on time telling and time passing. She still needs support but clocks are making more sense and she is wearing a watch.
Sometimes I see growth that no one would applaud for a typical 16 year old, but how wonderful to see her problem solve. The other day, the backseat of the car was full of a new file cabinet and Julia could not put her cello there to take to a lesson. On her own, she got the car keys and put the cello in the trunk. It was simple and elegant and she did it herself.
A few weeks ago, we went to a WYSO (http://www.wysomusic.org) concert to hear a young friend play. I asked Julia if she would like to play with such a group and she was very enthusiastic. There is a beginning strings group that is on her level. Her teacher volunteered to get in touch with the director to ask if Julia could audition and if they were open to accommodations. Of course, she will have to play the audition pieces well (a solo of her choice, a solo of their choice, three scales and sight reading — Even their beginning group is quite accomplished.) Her teacher got the go ahead on Friday! We will have a month to prepare— for Julia it is not just learning the music, it is learning the behavior. Before her solo, she must introduce herself and her piece. She must respond to questions and follow directions about when and what to play.
I am scared for her. I do not know if she can do it, nor do I know if she will play well enough to be accepted, but if she doesn’t try, we’ll never know. When I am not feeling strong, I want to envelop her in safe experiences that I know will not be challenging. But I do know better and hard as it can be, I need to let her go to fly or fall somewhat on her own. If she does get in, I expect that I will be sitting beside her for at least some rehearsals, but Julia has wanted some independence recently and if she can do it, I expect I will not be serving as her aide for too long.
Not meaning to put the cart too far before the horse although having an aide during rehearsals needed to be checked out before auditioning, places in WYSO groups are in high demand and kids get turned away each year. I hear that kids who are successful sometimes play in orchestras that are below their ability because higher orchestras are full. So, audition does not assure a place in an orchestra.
But a mother can hope, pray, cross fingers and light a candle.
I am still struggling with my own travel ban. Considering hand healing, staying home this break is/was sensible; however, such reasonableness doesn’t dim lust in my heart when Facebook friends post travel pictures. And there is no word yet on summer school and no possible planning there. I am, quite frankly, grumpy. I study and read and meditate about being in the present without complaint or longing. To be totally present and joyful with the abundance that is this time. These are lofty goals for me right now. I grumble that they would be easier if I was clutching airline tickets and guidebooks.
I grumble some more. Hard to be patient with such a grumbler even from the inside.