Breakfast is a bowl of rice -- jasmine rice, Julia's favorite and the only think I can serve her right now. I put leftover rice in a bowl and water and microwave. She is down in time for the timer to go off and she opens the microwave herself and takes her bowl, cooing and making very happy sounds. Would that she always gets such joy from simple things. She gets her spoon and sits to eat rice. I take frozen waffles out of the toaster, butter and syrup them, put apples on the plate and serve.
Then I gather her lunch. Today, sweet potato. bok choi with ginger and onions (another leftover), and slices of apple with lemon. Not a big lunch, not as big as I wished my skinny girl would eat, but when I give her what I think she will eat instead of what I hope she will eat, there is a better chance that she will eat everything. No guarantee. No guarantee at all, but a chance. I heat, I pack, remember a napkin, and zip it all in together.
And then, pills. Three medications -- that I fought against so hard, but have worked the same hard to get right -- fish oil, with a side of chocolate, and vitamins, and all with milk -- at least, a half glass. And time for her warm sweat shirt, pack on her back, and practice crossing our very safe street to the bus stop.
Julia dances in the falling leaves and acts more like a first grader than a third grader. And I don't care. I am so happy to see her happy, that a bit of maturity difference means nothing. She calls herself "Twinkle Toes" today and "tip toes" on grass, leaves and hot lava. Yeah, hot lava. Julia cheers when she sees the bus turn the corner, and is second in line to get on. She bounces on board, greeting the driver and settling into a seat. She throws kisses at me out the window and waves with delight as the bus pulls away.
For me, I chat with parents, some who manage to bring coffee cups to wait for the bus. I can see how this is a very efficient way to spread gossip. There was some controversy on our bus. The driver "touched" one of the kids when the children were being noisy, and some parents are upset. The driver is an Asian -- possibly Hmong, because we have a good sized Hmong population in town and because he has an accent -- some kids don't understand his English. It sounds like he was read the riot act by principal and employer and I doubt that it will happen again. I, for one, like that man. He has been very kind to Julia. He definitely approves of me. We smile and exchange greetings twice a day. I am grateful that he takes an interest in Julia, says hello and good bye to her. I am beginning to see how deep cultural differences can go, and how we all struggle with them.
And so, now I am back in bed, under warm covers, tapping away at keys. I will sleep for another hour, and then start my day. This is extravagant and I will not deny myself. Not now. there will be plenty of busy times when this is not possible.
I have reading today. I hope I can do it. I want to get my hair cut before I go to Jersey. No reason, but good to put a deadline on things like hair cuts. It would -- the hair -- be down to my waist if there were no deadlines.
This life, this new experience of life, falls into patterns again. The patterns are lightly etched on . . . like a wave washed beach. The old patterns are still visible, indistinct, growing distant, but not disappeared as of yet. "Let go, let go," the moon directed tides sing. I listen. Sigh. And take the first steps to acquiesce.