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IMG_6072Public Service Announcement: “Regularly used in text messages or online, the word/ letter /phrase /term, “K” really only means one thing: Fuck You. The use of a “K” should be reserved for very selective moments of frustration or annoyance, otherwise it sends the wrong impression.” Read more here.

Am I the last person in the cyber world to know this??  Perhaps.  I can definitely think of specific people who have used this with me.  If they meant it in any other way but a casual “okay,” I was clueless.  I think of myself as a relatively savvy-for-an-old-lady online participant—I do wonder where people get their gifs from and so quickly after I message them.  My older daughter has promised to show me.  But this, K stuff is perplexing.  Who told who and when and why did they leave me out?

I don’t think I ever used “K” but lord knows, I might have.  So, if I used it and some correspondent was perplexed or confused, I am sorry.  Not passive aggressive. Just no idea at all. 

Finished.

November is closing and I feel a wrap up coming on: I finished my 50K words for  NaNoWriMo. I’ve added to an old novel project.  I hit rough spots during the second half of my writing.  My outline fell in on itself and I saw terrific holes.  (When I posted that I was doing NaNoWriMo, a friend replied that when she did it, she ;[e]nded up with a real piece of pointless trash.”  That is certainly one way of looking at my huge pile of words.) I wrote through to the end and now have the job of making sense of it all. This was the first time in a long time that I indulged in something that was completely for myself. I did the minimum of housework, cooking, etc., and made the writing a priority.  It was a good time to choose to do this sort of thing because considering that my usually full plate was relatively empty. I am hoping to keep up some sort of momentum because my writing muscles truly require everyday exercise and the writing comes easier when it is daily.

Community Building:  Slowly coming alone.  Joining the choir at FUUSN was a great choice for diving in.  I survived my first all music Sunday although admittedly I am the weak link in the soprano section.  There is a line up of carol singing gigs that the choir does in December plus a Christmas Eve service—I should at least know melody  for most of those!  

Last week, during coffee hour after service, I spoke with a woman who was looking for disability services for an older child.  I was able to offer her some places to go and people to call.  It was the first time here that I didn’t feel like the most bewildered person in the world.

I have a mindfulness gig in late January and I am so excited.  Moving, I wondered how long it would take to be able to facilitate/teach mindfulness again.  The connection here came up during an autism support group and I jumped on it.  If it goes well, it could lead to a workshop series.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday, I got the big envelope with an invitation to join the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. (Do rejections still come in small envelopes? Or short emails?) I am excited not only to begin taking courses but also to partake in some of the community events. There is a concentration of folks my own age in one place—sort of like college with bad knees—which must up the possibility of finding friends. I have to say that I was pretty sure that they were going to reject me.  Now, that old Groucho Marx saying filters through my brain.

Julia: I am hoping that the good moods of the last week or two are indicative in a change in the mental weather.  Julia seems to be settling in.  She still is complaining about homework because she would rather be watching anime, but school, apart from tests, is not as anxiety provoking as it was last month.  She will be starting with a mental health counselor the first week in December and we are on a list for at home services under a special grant. She is lonely and feeling isolated at school and church.  I asked if there was some peer mentor type experience that she might have and her in-school counselor arranged for her to go to lunch at least one day a week with another junior and her friends.  Julia had a good time yesterday with these girls.  I hope she and they want to keep it up. 

We had a first real transition meeting at school.  Julia will stay in the Newton school system until her 22nd birthday and get services that will increase her independence at home and in the community and get her ready for work and living outside my home (Though there is no rush at all for her to move out). I am hoping that she can do some sort of volunteer/work experience next summer.  I am burned out trying to teach Julia everything about her world, overseeing all homework and planning/ providing all out of school activities.  This is a great parenting job when kids are little but I’m still doing as much as I did when she was seven.  Newton North has taken some of the weight off my shoulders and the transition team gives me the feeling that I am not in it alone.  I feel rather hopeful today. I have a team to work with.

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Milestones come but they are different:  Last week, Julia was in her first chorus concert at Newton North and she was great!  She remembered all the rules and goals that Mr. Cao had set at Madison West.  She stood still, sang, watched the conductor and was engaged. I was so happy for her.

Julia needs to learn how to use money and as a first step I’m asking her to buy her drink during school lunch.  She has almost always brought her lunch to school and I know that makes her feel safe and protected.  However, she also loves chocolate milk and I don’t buy it for the house.  Hopefully, there is an incentive there and she will remember to ‘take the change.’

Something interesting has been how tired Julia is when she comes home from school.  She can be very negative getting off the bus or getting into my car after school.  She has also asked to take naps on many of those days. I think this is a sign of how hard she is working on holding it all together and being appropriate during school.  I don’t know if I have written this before.  It feels new and I want to track it.  

Another positive development seems to be a broader band of memory.  This has been going on all year extremely slowly. Just this week, Julia asked if we were going to get new pajamas on Christmas Eve the way we did last year.  It is one of Justin’s family traditions and we were with his family last Christmas.  It was a big deal which traditions can be and Julia remembered.  We will not be with them this Christmas Eve but we might just start a new tradition for ourselves.

This week was spirit week at school and Julia remembered every morning what to wear.  It is a big development that she remembered spirit week and was interested in wearing the appropriate clothes.  I remember so many years of grammar school crazy hair, backwards clothes, etc. that she was not at all interested in. High school is not as  . . . creative(?) but I am so happy to see her join in.  Admittedly, on Monday when she dressed for pajama day I tucked a pair of jeans into her backpack just in case it was not really pj day.  Oh, me of little faith!  

This morning as Julia climbed out of bed she said, “I need to bring milk and hot chocolate mix for our feast.”  I knew there was going to be a feast in (practical) math class but nothing came home about what to bring.  Admittedly, I had not pumped her for information.  Most stores around here open at 8 AM which would mean she was either late for school or I’d have to walk it into school.  I googled what was open and our neighborhood Whole Foods opened today at 7 — with the biggest mountain of sweet potatoes i’ve ever seen!  We rushed to get out, Julia had her breakfast in the car and I ran into Whole Foods for milk and cocoa.  I was so very grateful for my google search.  I could complain about doing this last minute but I am so happy about Julia remembering that the slight stress and rush was just so much little stuff not be to be sweat over.  

Julia comes home at 11 today.  She wants to bake—something with apples—to bring to tomorrow’s feast.  We also need to clean this house—tidy more than clean.  A month of writing has resulted in piles of everything on every flat surface as well as bedding to change and the fireplace to set up.  

I am feeling grateful.