We woke up to rain this morning and indeed, the release of moisture from the air was delightful for awhile, but it is close to four now and it is once again muggy and gray. There is a light glaze of sweat over my body and I did doze for a few minutes during a very good lecture on the minority populations in mid-eastern countries. There are so many riches here. The chance to learn about subjects that I know a bit less than nothing -- Islam, Iran, middle east policy -- and to listen to inspired speakers can be a bit overwhelming. I am deeply happy.
I do wish that David and I had made the effort to take Lisa up on an invitation to come here long ago. David may have been a bit put off by the elitist WASP culture, although there is a Jewish community here, small but visible, but his course on Film and the First Amendment would have gone over incredibly well in this place.
Julia is back from camp. More on camp another time. Having an aide at camp has proved to be quite a good idea. Putting Julia in with kids another year her junior -- kids going into 3rd grade -- was also a good idea. But for now . . .
Julia came home today with Taylor and I presented her with three choices. We could go and learn about bats, we could sit on our porch and draw, or we could watch the dance rehearsal (for tonights performance). Julia chose the dance rehearsal -- rather surprising -- and sat in the front row of the theater (which is right next door to our house and very visible from our upstairs porch. Really a delight!) in wrapped attention. Umm, is wrapped attention the right words to described her? She made a few comments. She was especially impressed by how sweaty the dancers. I had to laugh at that. Rarely, have I seen her so interested in something outside of her own art or dinosaurs.
The camp counselors have prepped the kids for seeing a performance of Peter and the Wolf tomorrow. Julia can’t wait. I’ve just heard about some of the instruments who are like animals, and how Peter’s grandfather told him not to go into the forest. Is my girl turning into an arts enthusiasts? Could I be more delighted?
Two days ago, working on numbers, Julia counted backwards from 12. It was a workbook page and I did not expect that she could fill in the countdown. I was ready to tell her to do it backwards -- to start at one and count up -- but she did it backwards without pause. I cheered!
To be sure, Julia is still different from her peers. It is most evidence in her social dealings, but she continues to make attempts at talking to other kids and adults. Often she misses the cues -- people being friendly, greeting her or asking her a question. But she does reach out. She is rebuffed at times, girls roll their eyes and walk away from her. That still hurts me much more than it does her. And then, Julia tries again -- saying something different or talking to someone else. I don’t know what she thinks about the rebuffs or if she recognizes them for what they are. If she does not realize what is going on, it is a blessing for now. If she does, then she is so brave to persevere in friendliness. Either way, her spirit expands.