19 July 2012

Written 18 July

The compulsion of a few weeks ago to read blog entries for 2010 and 2011 seems to have passed.  And I seem to be maintaining a somewhat positive attitude that was rare only a few months ago.  13 days so far, albeit with some backsliding.  But that too is expected.  
I wrote in another venue: Had the strangest feeling today.  A picture of David came into view and I did not feel the searing pain that I have had for the two years and 13 days.  I was looking at someone who was gone.  It is not hurt as much but I've lost the immediacy of his life as well.  In truth, for the last few weeks I've felt much strong and more able to cope with life.  I've felt able to move along and on.  I am preparing for a short vacation and a busy fall, as well as getting ready for a september garage sale that will get rid of all the rest of the things that I do not need in my life (ok, the last is a bit of wishful thinking).  But there is less and less of me that wants to rely on David for consultation when I make decisions.  I don't think about pleasing him.  Fewer of the cells in my body still expect him to walk through the door at the end of the day.  This may be acceptance but it is sad.
We are at swimming lessons again.  After an early morning storm which brought very needed moisture to our yellow grass and drooping shrubs.  Forget about flowering plants.  I have been losing perennials that were planted last fall.  No matter how much I water, I am not rain and cannot get deep enough to keep the shallows wet.  I am so grateful for the rain.
I did not think that we’d have a lesson today.  It was raining a half hour ago, but the sky is clearing now.  It is cool and my sleeveless shirt doesn’t keep me warm, but after days of disgusting heat, I can’t even mind the occasional shiver.  Julia is jumping around in the water although Mary Beth quickly settles her down into stroking.  Yesterday, we came to the pool for a short swim -- the benefit of the season’s membership is that I feel no waste at all if we swim for 20 minutes.  I think we were in the water for about 25.  We went over Julia’s strokes -- front and back overhand and traditional back stroke.  All are shaky and we if we stopped swimming tomorrow, she would forget them all by the end of the week.  But I see progress.  She is proud that she can finally float on her back very steadily.  It is still hard for her to kick and stroke with her arms at the same time, but we practice.  I imagine creating neuro pathways that are footpaths through a virgin forest.  Although virgin woods are to be treasured, I am working on the superhighways. 
We went to some friends for dinner last night.  Four other kids for Julia to interact with and me with four other grownups.  Who did a better job?  I had to dig Julia out of the basement a few times -- she had remained playing with legos or playmobiles or dinosaurs when the other kids had moved on.  She played wii dance revolution for awhile with the others and she ate with them.  Her conversation still arch, awkward and stiff but she does not give up.  It is painful for me to watch at times -- no, all the time, but she is who she is and she works on it hard.  For this, I have to be grateful and I have to admire her spirit.  Many a kid with autism buries themselves deep inside.  Not Julia.  Not at all.
For all my feeling of change and moving on to create a new life, I am still difficult to talk to.  I have little to say and my comments are not always relevant.  I live in the insular world of Julia and my own thoughts.  How close to the insular world of autism am I?  If I want to be good company, I better start working on it.  Reading bits and pieces of the New Yorker are not enough.  I don’t want to turn on the tv again, but I need to look outwards if I want to join the onrush of the world again.  
Underwear report: Two days after shopping, I feel very good.  New underwear that fits and has no holes may be a gift from the gods!  I’ve promised myself at least one other shopping trip before vacation -- I need pants that fit and could use a new top or two.  A summer skirt would be fun but I don’t know if I can stretch myself that far.  I mean, I don’t know if I can stand shopping that long.

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