Rain and thunder for the last two morning. My brave girl, terrified of thunder, puts ear plugs into her ears, wears her sister’s red rain jacket and grits her teeth against the challenges of the day.
Breathe, honey. She runs into the rain towards the little bus that drives her to school. I am grateful for her bravery, for loving bus ladies and for her teacher who thanks me for a heads up email.
Like everyone I know, from time to time, I consider giving up Facebook. Too many ad for things I don’t want or bought already, too much third hand news that I strictly prohibit myself from clicking on and sometimes too many accomplished children of lovely friends. I do want to celebrate the college acceptances and sports awards and life achievements but sometimes it is just hard. Children, Julia’s age, are looking for summer jobs, getting their hair done for formal dances and independently going off on adventures. We are on such a different trajectory. I am praying for adult employment in the someday time after high school. I am praying that she learns art and it works a miracle of independence and life work. When I sit with the feelings and look for their core, what I want for Julia is a happy life and in my experience both growing up and mothering Cheshire, a happy life included all the milestones that my friends post. I don’t see the map of happy milestones for Julia. It is an ambiguous unknown that can frighten the soul of a warrior.
The first dandelions bloomed last week in the medians of busy streets. I curse those pesky weeds later on in the summer but last week I feasted on their yellow audaciousness. This week they have increased ten fold and perhaps next week they will be seed heads and empty stems that are impossible to mow. Dandelions are not known for moderation.
If mothering Julia is a lesson in ambiguity; dandelions teach the middle way.
Summer: Julia will be doing summer school for 6 weeks in the Extended School Year (“ESY”) program. ESY is a mysterious and complicated program. A teacher must show regression and failure to recoup skills if a child does not get the service. I’ve never been willing to let Julia go an entire summer without academic work and thus, regression could not be proven, but this year, her teacher believes that her progress, which has been notable, warrants the services and evidently, somehow she has convinced the PTB. ESY will probably be taught at West High where Julia will be in the fall, so the program will give her a chance to get to know the very large school when it is uncrowded.
Me. Forgive me but, for the moment, I am still whining about unrequited wanderlust.
My tulips stand very proud. Many in the terrace beds. I’ve dug up some of the other bulbs in the terrace garden beds. Bulbs have multiplied. There is no joy is the digging but a bit to find how they’ve multiplied.
During our Chinese brush stroke lesson last week, Julia asked us to pause, put down our brushes and breathe for a moment. She said some of what I say when I ask her to become mindful. We were working on what was for us the most difficult character, we’ve attempted. The single stroke, the instruction not to sketch, the deliberate movement of brush on paper are challenges. And when I look at the finished work of our teacher and the masters, I see such ease and fluidity. Drawn breath. Pauses are necessary.