Monday, May 19, 2008

Blank pages

The blank page sits before me like a beacon.

All I can think of is the way my son looks sleeping in the back seat of the car, or how he laughs when finding a new friend to play with, of how he loved singing his Japanese songs at Peachtree on Friday. Random images, all of them of Benjamin, all of them sweet and sustaining.

Our life here in Ann Arbor has shifted into a regular gear, from day to day we do the same things, moving through our life more like natives rather than newcomers. There’s the Y or Jungle Java when we are needing activity on a weekend, and like yesterday, it’s raining and gray. The bikes with our favorite routes to two different playgrounds in the warm evenings after supper. Getting up early to ride the bus or bike to school, or when we are being sleepy, driving the car. Shopping on payday or the next Saturday. Walking the dog. Finding the delights of living in this town where resources abound and new adventures lie around every corner.

And then there are the days when I know the reality of raising Benjamin means dealing with his issues: all the issues an adopted kid faces, with the added layer of being adopted by someone old enough to be your grandmom; his high risk for learning disability, which is obvious many times; the sheer enormity of being a single parent facing all sorts of decisions and challenges in schooling choices. Ben got three vaccines today, which knocked him back a peg and I realized, guiltily, how easy grocery shopping was with him subdued. And of course his wonderful pediatrician, Dr. Terry Joiner, wanted to talk about academics, IEPs and pre-school transistions today. He's urging me to make some choices which mean taking Ben out of Montessori life and beginning to face the real world--which here in this town is rich in resources for Ben.

I wanted to say, hey, it's enough getting him to his four year old well-baby visit only five months late! I'll deal with all the other stuff tomorrow. But of course I must begin to engage in these choices and begin making them for Benjamin, hoping against hope I am doing the right thing at every turn. I have to admit that not having someone to talk to about these choices when they waken me at 3 a.m. is a source of sadness for me.

But right now, Benjamin sleeps sweetly in my bed, because he was feeling crummy and wanted to, and I caved. Lily lies at my feet, and outside, the cardinals are singing their evening songs. There's a part of me that's glad I don't have to negotiate those choices: the sweet, day to day domestic ones. It seems for the moment worth the trade off of single parenting.

Life, even with all its challenges, is good, and the blank page still beckons.

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