It is a blue-sky-bright-sun day in Madison, the kind of day that follows a heavy snow storm and frankly, it is quite a saving grace of the intense cold the finds every crack and crevice in an old house. Yesterday, during the afternoon and evening storm, I pulled down all of the shades to hold in the heat and keep up the cold, but this morning, cold or not, shades are up and the sun is pouring in.
It is cold. I went out and blew snow and salted walkways and the driveway. Julia and I are going to celebrate Chinese New Year this afternoon with our local FCC -- Families with Chinese Children. It is a group that I have felt not fully comfortable with from time to time. Most of the kids were adopted as babies and the kids Julia’s age are fundamentally American kids. There are very few kids with disabilities of any sort and I have felt an undercurrent of distain for Julia’s challenges. I fully acknowledge that it may be mostly me, a bit of paranoia, a bit of shyness, and so, we will try again. The woman who is running the group now goes to my church and we’ve talked often. I have volunteered us to decorate before the party -- give me a task and I will make myself at home. And I am pretty good at setting up almost anything. Julia has a dragon shirt that Santa brought her and she asked for “Chinese hair,” which is such a throw back to our early days together. She wanted her hair done up and with ribbons and decorations. She was speaking very limited English but she told me that girls with fancy hair had mothers, and she wanted to look like she had a mother. I wonder where she saw that -- it was somewhere in China because she had not been home long enough to see girls with “fancy hair” here, and what she wanted was little buns with as many decorations on them as could be fit. Hair spray is essential for this endeavor and patience in the bathroom as I fumble around with elastics and pins. Julia has always had the patience to let me spend as much times a necessary, even in those tough early days.
Hopefully, there will be pictures.
The other day when Julia and I were doing our morning strong sitting, she turned to me and said, “I am bored.” When I said my usual, “Quiet in body and mind,” she muttered to herself, “This is so boring.” I wanted to giggle, I wanted to hug her. Such an appropriate reaction to meditation! We have been sitting for 15 minutes every morning before the school bus comes since the beginning of the school year. Julia has shown her monkey mind and monkey body, but she has never told me that she was bored. Of course! We are all bored during meditation sometimes. Maybe she is getting closer to meditation than I thought. I assumed that she was filling her mind with dinosaur stories as we sat there together, maybe she is listening to me and quieting her mind. I do wish I had someone to call and ask what I should do for and with her now.
When the student is ready . . . maybe we are ready . . .