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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Sampling of What I Get Excited About.

  • Putting on makeup the next day.
  • Brushing my hair (so I can use the Belle brush Bruce gave me).
  • Checking the mail even though it's mostly bills and junk.
  • Hearing the crack and pop of opening a can (even if it's not mine).
  • Feeling touch so soft most people would giggle.
  • Hearing the terrible crunching sound as Josh uses his mangled key when he comes home.
  • Seeing bits of my hair curl in the heat.
  • Seeing frogs when I'm on a night walk.
  • Trying to believe that my car and my iPod talk to each other.
  • Feeling proud of a dinner I merely warmed.
  • Getting Oliver to eat baby carrots.
  • Inhaling the smell of an airplane's interior.
  • Correctly guessing what Oliver is saying.
  • Getting Oliver ready for his first day of preschool.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Little Perspective.

Like most of you, I've seen the photo of the wounded boy in Syria and the video of him and the rescue worker who brought him to the ambulance. Since it's become a controversy, I won't post it here, but I do want to share how it has adjusted my attitude a bit.

My sweet boy was diagnosed with autism early this year. I felt so ignorant; I didn't know what to do for him. But I've done more paperwork in the last several months than I've done, probably, in all my life. I threw applications and packets in several directions, hoping someone would answer. Oliver has been in speech and occupational therapy for a few months. And we recently found out he was placed in an Early Intervention special education preschool that is at an elementary school minutes from our house. It was such a relief, and it seemed like the best option at this point.

But school begins two weeks from yesterday, and I've been aching at the thought of leaving my child with people I don't know and without the skills to do simple tasks like pay for a carton of milk in the cafeteria. My own lower school experiences were pretty miserable for me and for my parents, likely the result of separation anxiety and social anxiety. I'm scared of this happening to Oliver.

But this morning, some new thoughts formed as I saw that photo of that little boy. Oliver will be without me and Josh, but we are safe, and one of us (or someone else we trust) will be there to pick him up every day. He doesn't have to wonder if he's alone. I pray for kind teachers and assistants who will notice his needs and help him. He will be in a clean space that is a cool shelter from the blistering heat. It will be a colorful space full of so much that will be delightfully new to him rather than frighteningly new. I hope he will learn to be excited about his school.

I hope I will too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A List of Lists I Should Make.

This is silly since many of my posts are lists. They make me feel more imaginative and structured and more creative and energized. So here are some ideas I may use for future list entries:
  • Reasons I married Josh.
  • Brief descriptions of every place I've lived since I left my parents' home.
  • Favorite movies with one-sentence justifications.
  • My favorite fictional characters.
  • Memorable clothes--pieces of clothing with strong associations.
  • Important colors and how they affect me.
  • Reasons I should start eating breakfast again. 
  • Favorite names and the characters they conjure.
  • Things I can't stand.
  • What I feel I'm always waiting for.
  • Color coding ideas.
  • Questions I'd ask God.
  • My favorite toys of Oliver's.
  • My own life hacks (enchantments!)
  • Strange ways I've fallen asleep.
  • People who have challenged me.
What are some lists you'd like to see on this blog?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Surprising Favorites.

  • Museum-ish gift shops
  • Oliver's colorful little plastic bowls--great for setting out Oliver snacks
  • My Ariel jacket--gray with teal stitching
  • Oliver's loud singing 
  • Blackberry ginger ale saved for when I have a stomach ache
  • Dropping ice because Oliver loves rushing to retrieve it
  • Boys who like books (but I'm booked)
  • Figuring out school uniforms and lunches
  • Buying school supplies that aren't for me
  • Pretty paper straws (they don't fall apart!)
  • Jennifer McMahon
  • Eyeliner that is still on my wrist almost a week after I tried it on
  • Talking about makeup while I'm shopping
  • Hearing about what Oliver did and learned when I wasn't with him
  • Having set up and corrected appointments
  • Finding a cold water bottle in the fridge

Monday, August 1, 2016

LTs: Literary Tasks.

LTs help me focus. They keep me connected to some of my most important selves: the reader and the writer.
  • Pages: I sometimes assign myself a number of pages to fill in my journal each day. Lately, it's been two, regardless of the journal's size. I try to push beyond that though.
  • Chapters: Right now, I'm reading three books at once. My goal is to read one chapter (or essay or story) from each book every day. It's not overwhelming, even if I'm not crazy about the book. And I can always read more of something else when I'm caught up.
  • Quotations: I mark special lines and passages when I read. Later, I go back and write those down in one of my quotation books. I save the best of the books I read this way. I'm quite behind on this LT!
  • Prompts: I use prompts I make up or find, write them at the top of a future journal page, and respond to them later.