|grace picked out a unicorn at The Rocket for her birthday present|
This morning I dropped off my daughter and saw her for the last time as a four year old. I meant to take a picture. I forgot. We were running a little late, and as we were leaving someone knocked on my door with the neighbor's dog, who had gotten out and didn't have any tags. I didn't know it was the neighbor's dog, and so we sat with him on the porch for awhile waiting for the police, until the neighbor came out to look for his dog and thus the whole thing was resolved. I did get puppy kisses, and Grace wrote "I <3 U" in chalk around the steps.
We are finally getting rain, though I think now it's mostly gray. Nothing major, but it isn't 100 degrees, so that's something. Grace had walking pneumonia last week, and now that she's on the mend I've been dealing with some sort of respiratory/congestion/sinus thing that has been pretty miserable. I'm trying to get through my last undergraduate course, my thesis is just about done, and I'll continue working on the Muriel Rukeyser project. Grace is in summer camp at the same preschool she's gone to for the last two years, and has been participating in a research project playgroup with the Autism Collaborative Center. I've reached out for help there and have begun collecting things to read on sensory processing disorder and ADHD; while I'm not sure where (if anywhere) she fits into these categories, I do think that she needs help. I've started journaling various incidents that happen every day and her responses, so that I remember exactly what happened in context, and locate patterns (if there are any). We've been eating a lot of orange creamsicles and my mattress is on the living room floor to be near the air conditioner; a friend brought us a baby doll for Grace yesterday that she made and we found our cat a new home.
In finding things to read on children with high needs/high sensitivity, I've stumbled upon an entire world of mental health memoirs from adults, particularly women, and I'm fascinated. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and panic attacks for my entire life, it is important to me that these issues be made visible. I ordered a ton of zines, and have been talking to friends about collaborating. I started making one with Grace. I've planned a unit for my ENGL 120 class this fall, using zines and something called the Knowledge Box to foreground composition in craft: writing is about making things.
We've made it to 5. Five says goodbye to babyhood. Five is not 5 point harnesses in car seats, not baby wipes (I still buy them, because they smell good), not an IKEA toddler bed. Five is halfway to ten. Five is taking baby toys and putting them in a laundry bag to be donated when she's at her dad's house. Five is finding three huge bags of clothes that don't fit anymore in the back of her closet. Five is no more T at the end of her clothing size, five is evolving expectations, five is name-calling and "leave me alone" and school. Five is still smelling her hair, five is showers, five is growing feet and making me lunch and chapter books. Five traces our steps on the ground. Five collects letters, marks goals, embodies movement. Five finds hope in the cracks and beneath the crunchy, dry summer leaves. Five is another layer of blur over the day you came to be, though there are still parts I will always remember as if they happened just hours ago.
Happy birthday, blue eyed girl full of hope and fire.