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“Do not pray for task equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.” ~ “Phillips Brooks
I am sitting outside on our back steps. They are hard, but warm from the afternoon sun. It’s not comfortable, but it’s not uncomfortable enough to send me inside away from the overcast skies with a hint of sundown pink and the light breeze that ruffles my hair and dress. The hummingbirds are here, they came to comfort me. To remind me. A few minutes ago, E and I sat out here…I miss here.
It was a fleeting moment. She was pulling her hair out of her head to mouth it, a new and disturbing compulsive behavior, so I pulled her out of her beloved trampoline and held her. We looked at one another, her clear greenish hazel eyes watching me to understand what was happening, and my blue gray teary eyes looking at her in bewilderment, love and overwhelming loss. Loss of control, loss of my trip to Italy (“Welcome to Holland” by Emily Pearl Kingsley) and loss of my own ability to remain full of optimism and “we can do this,” in essence, the loss of my powers.
I miss this place, my safe place. I am not sure why I stopped writing, this was my therapy. Perhaps too many other things happening in life that were not to write about, but to process like all other Los Angelenos and urban dwellers in the safety of the therapist’s office. Life, it’s not perfect. But then I ask, what is perfect? What does it actually mean? Who is the judge? Isn’t this a journey, meaning it does not have a destination? There isn’t closure but rather just the continuing growth as a person in my life, in my relationships, in myself.
Today, I had to come back. The past several weeks have brought me here. E went to second grade, Q and E will be 8 in just a month. 8 years old. Q started second grade, such a big boy. M started her second year of preschool as a penguin. 4 going on 14. And E, angel E, she started, stopped and started second grade. Caught in between growing and changing.
As a mom, I can never tell if I am winning or losing, ahead or behind. With Q and M, they can tell me or indicate when I am up or down, but with E, I have to guess. I have to be always on to know, to assume, to try, to grab at straws, to hope that what I am doing or not will be the right thing. I have to believe without knowing that I have the tools or that I can learn them. I have to push people that don’t want to be pushed, to change people’s minds, to persuade, cajole and pressure. I try so hard to remind and remain grounded in my gratitude; but, some days it’s so hard. Anyone who has ever gone through anything knows this feeling, and yet each day there is something.
Last week as I walked all 3 minis to school, trying to use E’s new communication system and address her behaviors, sitting down while walking, pulling M’s hair, etc. I was both sweating, embarrassed and sad. As all the other parents drove their typical kids to school and Q longed not to be late, I both wanted to cry for what was happening, the fear of leaving her for day 3 at school as I am trying to enforce her new communication system, trust a new set of people to care for her, and hope she won’t be so disruptive that her being part of an integrated system is even more difficult for everyone. Perhaps there is a reason that Ann Rand and Atlas Shrugged was always a favorite author and book, because sometimes it does feel like the world is on my shoulders, but not because of the world, just because of me. She did say once,