24 October 2011

I have spent the entire day educating myself on range hoods and shopping online. There is a big part of me that feels like this is a wasted day! But then, I am not a shopper. Not in the least. I would like to have found the ultimate budget range hood with nice lines and an incredible price. What I found was some very nice and efficient and very expensive hoods, and then some pretty cheap with good looks and no efficiency at all hoods. The mid-range, or perhaps it is more accurate to say the lower part of the mid-range is a bunch of trade offs. I could have just gone with the brand that my contractor recommended which is not bad but only one of those has close to the power that I was looking for and the price is comparable to the other mid-priced models that I’ve found. And I want more bang for my buck. So, I am contemplating spending about $200 more than the recommended brand to get the power. BTUs and CFMs are the operative terms, as well as vent size, how each pieces are to clean and lights are to change. I am dizzy with information and not really closer to making a decision. I think this is the last technical decision of the renovation and thank goodness! I know that this is one more decision, like the sink and the faucet, that once made and bought and installed is probably never thought of again. I already feel pretty distant from last week’s angst over sinks.

I finally started reading The Mindful Child. I see that the work of teaching children about meditation has been going on for a long time. The author, Susan Kaiser Greenland (An ex-lawyer, by the way), has been doing her work since the 90’s. She has an impressive program and a good web site. I feel so drawn to it. I don’t know whether this is because I am ready to jump at any good idea or whether there is a real interest here. And I can’t really be sure that our strong sitting since last spring has really changed Julia. I want it to do some good for kids on the spectrum, for kids with ADHD, for kids who’ve experienced trauma. Is the brain really as plastic as researchers like Richie Davidson believe? And can I use that information now? Next year? And set up some project? What is this parent partner notion and what tools will I have to bring to such a project to be of some use.

To be of some use. Therein is the question. I want to be of some use to who? My target population are kids with neurological differences, including autism, ADHD, and developmental trauma. Where can I be of some use? In a diagnostic team? In schools? In my transitional house in China?

The tools, the tools. I am not quite ready to be looking for them and listing them yet, but I am just beginning to stick a toe in the water. If it wasn’t for a church seminar on the Greenland’s book, I would not even be getting my toes wet. I keep returning to the idea of teaching mindfulness to children and feel in my gut that I have somewhere to go with it.

Julia has some tough days coming up and I have to muster as much patience, forbearance and love as I possibly can. Tomorrow, we go in for her big blood draw. Once a year, she needs a complete liver check up to make sure her Hep B is not overwhelming her body. I completely missed the check up last year. Yeah. Oy. But the last one was in February of 2009, and I congratulate myself because I didn’t forget about it for two full years. Very small congratulations.

The blood draw can be awful. It has been awful. Numerous people holding Julia down. Julia screaming in full terror mode. But we did a smaller blood draw a few weeks ago at her pediatrician’s office and it was not incredibly awful, just kinda’ bad. I am hoping for kinds bad tomorrow. It would be a great step forward.

Her other challenge will come at the beginning of next week. Julia will be sent home from school if she picks at her skin some number of times and will not follow a prompt to stop and do something else with her hands. We -- teachers, therapists, and I -- are thinking of the number 5 or 6. So, if Julia picks and refuses redirection, she will get a mark in a box. If she does it 6 times, then I get called to pick her up. The aim is to call her attention to her picking and make the natural consequences something that she cannot ignore. Julia loves school and sending her home will break her heart. The hope is that this really big consequence will change the habit very quickly. Her skin is getting better. Albeit slowly. We are not beginning this week because it is a short week -- no school of Thursday and Friday -- and tomorrow will be chaotic.

Next week. Next week. Has definite possibilities f being very hard.

I sat in B&N during most of this writing. I had a bit more than three hours of Julia’s therapy time and I thought I would write some and then go to the Y and work out, but the range hood mania set in deeply, or perhaps resurfaced, and I spent much too long looking from web site to web site, comparing and contrasting, without answer. Then, before I left the store, I went to ask if they would have the Joan Didion book on sale on November 1, the publication day. And as I went to and from the information desk, I passed book. Books. BOOKS. I fingered some. I read titles. I took a few out. I did not let too many catch my eye. I could spend an hour. Much more. Looking at titles. Touching. And letting the sheer number of titles, the volumes of volumes overwhelm me.

Yes, I want to whisper that I do think that there is a writing project here. Inside of me. I think that it is the next big project, as fallow year winds down, that I will pick up with vigor and purpose. But to have so many books within my sight, within my reach, i get much too scared to think that I could put a book together and get it published. It is the old fear, the fear that needs to be banished, but the fear nonetheless.

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