Computer's still on the blink. I'm working from my aged laptop with the slow processor that I didn't notice was slow until I hooked up to the internet. We're talking molasses slow, curse-causing slow. Why oh why did I not spend the extra $200 for a faster thingamabob?
Attended M's kindergarten orientation this morning. Watched her sit in the circle with her new teacher and hang to the side of the playground when I picked her up after the parent meeting. Something in the way she stood at the fence reminded me of J when I dropped him off at a new preschool. Later, D drove by to check up on him and there was our J, crying at the fence. Three years old. A most horrible memory for my husband - I'm glad I only heard about it. That memory slid into another, one of me as a preschooler that never went to school. I have this vision of being in a treehouse of some sort. Girls in a group at the sandbox. A fancy doll in my lap. My mother told me she tried to get me to play with the girls, that they tried to talk to me. She said I refused to speak - I held my doll, ran and hid in the treehouse. Watching them from afar.
Today, I was part of the "been there, done that," group. The parents who've already put one or more children through kindgarten. We didn't ask many questions, we filled out the information sheet quickly, we didn't have cameras. Tuesday I will. I'll snap the shot of M by the door with her teacher. I'll sign up for the field trip to the zoo. I'll offer to staple papers or cut shapes at home. I already checked with Mrs. SuzieQ to arrange for M's birthday cupcakes in January instead of December (her birthday falls between Christmas and New Year's Day). After is better than before. I don't want her birthday to be lost in the craziness of public school Christmas break preparations.
I'll miss M being at home - I miss her already. Funny though because J will be home. We've confirmed the home teaching - a teacher will be here every day in the afternoon for an hour. This takes a little pressure off of us. Sure, we'll have to make sure he studies and does the projects, but this way, he'll be keeping up with his class at school. This way, he'll be able to slide into place when the tics are under control. Funnier, J seems happy. He says he doesn't feel angry anymore. He thinks the tiny green pill is doing the trick. Last night he asked me to tell him a story before bed...like when he was younger, before things changed, "Come on, Mom, tell me about Sam and Jam. Tell me about how Jam's a skateboarder and Sam's a drummer."
I laughed. My J, talking from the top bunk. I launched into something silly, something short. He giggled, but didn't stick with the story, asking something off-topic, talking about his birthday party. When I said goodnight and walked away, I heard him tic a little, a short, violent burst of a hum. In the darkness, I knew just where he was, lying on his side, facing the door. A shout of presence, of being.
Don't forget me.
When he was in kindergarten, I worked in my own law office, a sole practice. I have no memory of how or when I picked him from school at 11:00 every day. A whole year went by and I cannot remember what I did, not clearly. I think we had him in daycare after school a couple of times a week. I think maybe he sat in the office with the secretary until D picked him up. I picked him up maybe and took him to my mother's place, where we'd have lunch, after which we'd drive home, me, J, and A. I went to the zoo with him, his big field trip. I didn't help the class much. I was glad when he went to second grade because I didn't have to worry about the early pick-up. By then A was in pre-school a few times a week. The years are blurry. The greyness blows up with my mother's death. Clarity comes. M leaves her infancy. Our days are clear in my head, exact. Years of M and me.
J shouts now. I can here him across the house, one end to another. I always know where he is - the bedroom, outside skateboarding, in the office on the computer. I always hear him. He's shouting for me, a constant reminder of my barely-there-ness. I listen, thinking on how to fix it, thinking on the goodness of it.
How funny when M goes to kindergarten, the beginning of her independence, J is home with me. How strangely ironic, how noisy, how bright.