David used to take care of those things. Damn! Why did I ever let him do that? Well, because after his fiddled with something, it worked. He would get frustrated at times, but then again, most of the time he would just figure it out.
And so, today, I figured it out.
The printer would not print in black ink. I did all I could by myself, then I went to Staples, talked to two guys, bought a new cartridge (which I really didn't need but who know?), and after Julia went to sleep, I ran a diagnostic, learned how to clean the print heads, and ended up with a printer that works now!!!
I am writing this all down in case it happens again. Not that the same thing will happen again, but when something different happens, I will remember to go and ask someone for help. Because no one can know everything. Certainly me.
I bought some new math workbooks for Julia and then tonight printed out a bunch of math worksheets that have dinosaur themes. The print outs were how I began the day, discovering very early that I could not print with black ink. Some of the worksheets are too easy, some too hard but hopefully, the variety will help the therapists and myself give her a range of things she can do. Gosh, I did this for reading -- letters and then words -- two summers ago, and now, Julia is reading. Maybe, maybe.
Today, when I dropped Julia off at clinic, another mother was there with her 10 year old boy, waiting for his therapist. Julia was her usual friendly self, chatting with the mom and the boy, eating the lunch she didn't finish at school, and telling me about the last airbender. When she went upstairs with her therapist, the mom gushed about how cute Julia is, how she has seen her before, and how she would scoop Julia up and take her home if she was available. Now, usually adoptive families can be quite prickly about someone saying something like that. As if our children are commodities to be bought and sold, as if our children did not belong heart and soul to their parents. But given that very few people have ever said anything even vaguely like that about Julia, and that this woman clearly was dealing with autism herself and undoubtedly knows what care of kids are the spectrum takes, I was quite flattered. My girl for all of her needs and peculiarities has a quality about her, a life and a spirit. I don't know what will happen to her or what she will be able to do with her life, but she can make people feel good. She makes them smile with her love of life and her clear passion for things -- well, dinosaurs mostly, and me sometimes.
We are using our morning map this week. So far, Julia like having a list of what she is supposed to do in the morning and we have not needed stress to get her to the bus. Maybe it was just time to put the burden for her actions on her. Maybe it is time I could let go of total and complete control over her every movement.
So I have my control issues as well.
This morning instead of going to see Julia's spring music concert, I went to a clinic at Waisman to observe and participate (just a little bit) in an intake interview for a family who is questioning whether their child is on the spectrum. Much like last week, I had a really wonderful time. When I think of things I might do in the world of developmental disabilities, I imagine that I could help coordinate a program, or do policy work, but I am never excited about these sorts of tasks, but to work with a family, in however limited a capacity -- ah, there is where I want to be. Again, I felt that very sure gut feeling that I was where I belonged. And so, I don't know quite how to get there yet, but here is another refinement to my direction.
Of course, coming out of the clinic and going back home, I wanted to call and talk to someone. I wanted to share the good time and say -- yes, yes, this is it! I am far enough along on this path without David not to immediately think of calling him, but then who. Who to burden? Who to share with? I texted Cheshire later but it was nothing like talking to someone. I have a bunch of wonderful friends and yet I am aware these days that I have so little to really say to anyone. I call or get called and mumble something about being okay or not okay. I sigh a lot. I ask about how they are doing. But I am so painfully aware of what I am missing.
David and I used to talk every day. We were one of those couples who called each other during the day every day, maybe even more than once. Most of the time, it was about nothing, sometimes it was about little highs or lows, sometimes it was about big things. When the call for the first, possibly compromised heart, came, David and I talked about it and made the decision as I was driving Julia to OT. Now, I miss that ease, that companionship, that complete friend. In his letter to be read in case of his death, David wrote that our life together suited him and for that he was grateful. It suited me too. And not having him, does not suit me. And more than that, I fear that I will not have that companionship again and I wonder how I will live for the rest of my lie without such a friend. I don't mean that I am ready for another partner in my life. Not at all right now. But never? I cannot even imagine it. I don't want to imagine it.
I've always wondered about people, usually old people but some younger, who say that they read the obituaries every day. Who would do that? And why? And yet, I find myself these days scanned the obits in the Times. I look to see how old people were when they died. I note that most are in their 70's or 80's, some in their nineties. I click on obits for people who died in their 50's or 40's. I note how few of these there are. And there is a little voice inside of me yelling that it is so unfair. People celebrate 40 and 50 and 65 years married. Why not us?
God, that is so strange. I mean, checking out obituaries. Really strange.