today’s round

the penultimate peony

Morning.  Almost two hours after Julia leaves and I am getting down to the writing that I wanted to do since I opened my eyes.  This morning the round of tasks, not overwhelming by any means, has induced anxiety, enough to notice.  And I wonder if my anxiety can be compared to the way that Julia feels whenever she is asked to do more than two things when she is intent on something else.  It appears that she cannot hold all of that—two asks and her desires—in her head and get to what she wants to do.

Alarm goes off at 7:15 and Julia does come into my bedroom to wake me up shortly afterwards.  A great start to the day. I have a burning desire to start writing, immediately—something which definitely does not happen every morning.  I can’t do that but I consider that there will be only a short hold on the writing.

We take showers and I stay in the shower while Julia washes her own hair.  Julia still needs coaching to get soap and conditioner in and out of her hair.  She is angling for longer hair, and I should probably let go of the idea that shoulder length is easier to take care of than hair much longer.  I mean, it is true, but Julia has wanted longer hair for awhile now and she is almost, almost able to wash what she has herself.  

But letting her wash her own hair lengthens her morning doings and she gets to the breakfast table late.  She still has time, to help pack her lunch, to eat and get her stuff ready to get on the van.  I’d really like this to be a good start to the day because it is the last day of school.

I have a new effort to have Julia understand time, even if it is only her own time. I ask her what time it is—she is on her phone while she eats so that’s easy—instead of telling her to finish up and get going.  She tells me the time, I ask her what time the bus comes and then, how many minutes she has left.  This all takes time but it is getting to be a bit of a ritual.  She does not rush when she has 5-4-3-2-1 minute to get out onto our porch to wait for the van. I try my best not rush her at all and she does get up and ready almost on time.

She gets to the van which has probably been waiting 3 or 4 minutes—This kind of kills me, because I have discovered how much I hate when someone is waiting for me/us—but the van is at our door a few minutes before it is supposed to pick her up.  As she leaves the house, she throws over her shoulder a comment about getting a big phone and a comment about pictures of men with naked chests.  Both of these is designed to rile me up a bit.  This is a show of her morning anxiety and I tell her that she will buy a big phone when she saves the money and that we can look at naked chested men when she gets home.  Today, this is enough to quell her anxiety. 

As she approaches the van to get in, another student sitting in the front seat, demands that she hurry.  She does so with a smile that I recognize as teasing.  Julia does not see it that way, and pauses at the door of the van, one hand on the handle but standing absolutely still, some uncomfortable feeling running through her.  The driver asks Julia to get in and she does.

I am still really hot to get right inside and write.  But before I do, I dash off a quick email to Julia’s inclusion facilitator about what happened on the van and warn her that there may be fall out when she gets off the bus.  Then, I go in and clear breakfast dishes, which I consider leaving where the are and writing.  I clear and notice that Julia has been texting her therapist asking if she could see Julia today after her program.  The therapist had said that she could but the conversation is not finished.  

I text the therapist about seeing Julia.  She can do it at 1, but we have an art lesson planned for 1.  So, I text Julia’s art mentor to see if she can put her time back an hour or so, and also text the therapist that I’ll get back to her asap.  This is the first time ever!!! that Julia has reached out to her therapist to schedule a meeting and I am hell bent on making it happen.

Artist says we can push her art time back, I text the therapist okaying the time.  She asks if she can pick Julia up from school.  I text with the inclusion facilitator to make sure that will work and then text again to the therapist.

My passion for sitting d own immediately to write has dimmed some in the exchange of texting.  I have two other emails I need to answer.  One is complicated.  Then, feeling too restless to stay seated and begin writing, I put a load of clothes into the washer—we leave tomorrow for Newport and this will be the last load before packing—and I also wash breakfast dishes.  I notice that the plants needs watering both inside and in the vegetable garden, so I do that.  

I come back inside and notice how many things are out of place and I straighten the house a bit—just walking through the depositing books, clothes, art supplies and bits of paper in the appropriate room or container. 

Finally, I am ready to sit down.  And then, my newsfeed announces that the decision overturning Roe v. Wade has been issued. I know if I read it now, I will not sit down to work at all, or at least not until the afternoon which is already busy. And suddenly, my overwhelming desire to sit and write, my description of the beginning of this day—everything that felt so important a few minutes, no, seconds, ago is gone.

Where is the midsts of an ordinary morning round is there room to contemplate what this Supreme Court is doing to the United States that I have lived in for so many years? Yesterday, they struck down NY’s hand gun law, today it is Roe.  I cannot contain my outrage, my sorrow.  I am fearful that the long arc of the moral universe bending towards justice just grew much longer.

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