I meant to write a few days after the last entry, again last week, again during the weekend. But I did not. Funny thing about that. Not writing, that is. Use it or lose it. How many abilities, gifts, talents is that true for? On a day like today, it feels like everything! Today, the ability to catch a thought, to fashion a phrase and to punctuate is a labor like getting on the treadmill months after the last gym visit. Use of imagination, like a good run, will take warming up for a few days. Or weeks. Continue reading
This morning, 6 a.m., I dropped her off at school and she climbed onto a yellow bus filled with enthusiastic, yet somewhat drowsy cheerleaders each with identical shorts and tee shirts. Cheer camp weekend! The team will arrive at a high school a few towns over before 8, register and begin their very scheduled day at 9. Warm ups, chant class, dance class, stunt class, jump class, private coaching, cheer class and evaluation until 9:30 p.m., to be repeated tomorrow until they board the bus again at 9:00 p.m. In between, they will sleep on the gym floor.
Probably while she was still on the bus, Julia texted me to say “hi” and after I responded and said, “love you,” she wrote “love you too mom.”
But that was hours ago . . . . Continue reading
Saturday: My second basketball game in as many days. No, I haven’t gone over to the dark side (excuse me, my basketball-loving Hoosier friends). Julia is cheering. Not perfectly by any means although pompoms hide many a sin, cheerleaders stand to one side of the basket and cheer from the side, and most folks are here for the basketball players. She is very happy. Tonight she doesn’t even have ear plugs in. The gym’s echo is quite pronounced and the buzzer is incredibly loud and annoying. No complaints from the girl.
I realize that it is me that wants and expects perfection before performance. Julia and her cheer coach do not. Julia is out in front of the crowd on her own terms. Sometimes she perseverates on how she holds her pompoms and she does not stand as still as the other girls. And people do notice. As we left on Saturday, various people told Julia that she did a great job. Some of the compliments were accompanied by a knowing look to me. She is being congratulated for her chutzpah, her sheer and absolute nerve to insist on being herself even in a line up of girls all the rest doing the exact same thing. If there is pity, I refuse to see it. This is a hard lesson for me—a lesson in letting her go and letting her be herself. I would prefer that she show her independence by cutting up her food and sleeping in her own bed every night. I would prefer to let go of reminding her to go to the bathroom and listen and respond to people talking to her. Instead, she insists on my letting her go in front of crowds with pompoms. Continue reading
There is snow on the roof this morning. Just the smallest of sprinklings which will disappear in the morning rain. It is almost 8 a.m. and Julia is still asleep. She loves the first snow and I puzzle whether to wake her. But she so infrequently sleeps this long and we were out late last night. I let her sleep.
Such a week this has been!
Julia has made it to school on time for the last 7 days. On time! On one hand, such an mundane victory, but I feel like a Plantagenet claiming victory during the Hundred Years’ War. There is back story of course. While researching the reason that Julia was not getting picked up on time even according to Badger Bus’ schedule at 7:56, it was discovered that the student picked up before Julia hadn’t been to school since early September and that the driver was waiting for someone who is no longer going to school. So, without that stop and without waiting for the phantom student, Julia is now picked up at 7:48. My perfect world had her picked up at 7:45; I can concede those 3 minutes. She is now dropped off at a different door and she does not have to wait for an SEA to escort her into the building. She can run into the building, get to her locker and get to biology on time. And she can do it without help although special ed is not willing to let her speed through the halls alone yet. I expect she will be doing it alone soon. Continue reading
I haven’t published for a bit more than a month, I’ve started a few posts and abandoned them. Each had high emotions and descriptions of broken systems. The landscape and emotions shift too quickly for me to either continue or revise. It seems like a new story every few days. The promising meeting or email results in a step back instead of two steps forward as planned.
Some highlights of the past month from where I sit today, starting with the positive because I have not been keeping the positive in my head recently: Continue reading