Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Whole Heart

I love them.  With all that I am. 

And, right now, I'm too, too far away from them for my liking.  I flew into Toronto tonight for a day of witness preparation tomorrow and then two days of depositions.  I'll fly back to LA on Friday night (right after the second deposition) and we move next Tuesday, a week from today.  So, so much blog fodder in our lives (yet so little time). 

Good stuff, rich stuff.

After the last post (thank you for your comments!), I went into the "fix it" "do something" "grizzly mama bear" mode that I often go into when I feel like Sammie B isn't getting what she needs or being offered what she needs or we aren't getting what we want/need for her.   I've managed to cram 4 school tours into my looooong work days and it has payed off.  We have a Plan A.  We have a Plan B.  We may even have a Plan C.  All have their plusses and minuses, of course.  Lots to think about.  Weigh.  We're now struggling not just with making sure there are options and that Sammie B doesn't get tossed into a certain class just because its the school district's only real option, not just about how in the world we'll scrounge together money to pay for private school if we need to (that's somewhat less of a concern because . . . well, my own mama went into "grandmama bear" mode if you will and said, "by God, if you need money to help with a private school for "MY Sammie B", we'll figure it out together . . . ) but also with harder questions . . . about inclusion, about large classes versus small classes, about finding a school where she could stay for many grade levels and make friends and have consistency versus a small, intimate setting that seems just perfect NOW but only goes to the end of first grade.  So much to think about.   Heavy stuff that I could go on and on about for days (I may have done just that in a voice mail to a very good listening friend today . . . ).    There have been so many, many phone calls to schools, principals, etc.  Some that made me want to punch people (like the idiot montessori director who seemed surprised that I'd ask her to consider taking a child with CP (go read about the finder of your educational philosophy bitch! -- Dr. Montessori FOUNDED the principle of montessori education based on her work with special needs kiddos) and our local neighborhood school for being a great school in all respects except that its not an accessible campus and the secretary actually said, "I don't know if we can have kids with cerebral palsy here," when I called to talk about what programs they had and started to tell her a little about Sam - after that conversation, I was sort of through, over them, done), and others that made me want to just cry with joy that there truly are such embracing, loving people in the world.    Rememer I mentioned the hippy dippy pre-school as a back-up?   Emailed them, got a message from the director within moments:  "Of course I remember you and of course we'll make room for Sammie B if you need us to next year!"   Toured there (again).  They have a ramp.  It is accessible.  I asked him if it was accessible when they purchased the property.   He said no.  I said, "you made it accessible?"   He said "yes."  I said, "have you had a kid in a wheelchair or walker here before?"  He said, "no, Sammie would be our first, but it was important to me that if we were going to have a preschool that purported to promote an empathy-based, bias-free educational setting that we be an accessible place where everyone can learn together."   Tears in my eyes - big ones.  I almost hugged and kissed him ON THE SPOT, but I knew that would be weird.   You see --- there are so many amazing people in this world, and because of this journey, the richness that walks into our lives is sometimes astounding.   Lots of ups and downs, yes, but the richness keeps coming.   The ups and downs will no doubt keep coming too, but the good news is -- we have options.

There are, of course, mixed feelings about packing up our house -- the house we bought for our growing family -- the house we were so proud of.   But, mostly joy and optimism are outweighing the other feelings (and a little panic about logistics of moving when nothing is packed and I'm in Toronto for the next three days, ya'll!).   We've found the perfect new house for our family.  A beautiful house with so much light and just so very, very open.   Our current house, while it felt like the "perfect" house at one time, just isn't.  Not anymore.  It isn't the perfect house for our family, as we are.  But right now . . . this new house is, and I am overflowing with optimism and joy and excitement about the new chapter.  No stairs.  Not even to go from inside to outside (the last owners had made it accessible for them as they were getting older).   Mostly hard wood floors.  Perfect for a little girl who's primary modes of moving and grooving involve the butt scootch or a walker.  PERFECT for her.  And, she's been overjoyed both times we've visited, saying "I'm going exploring . . . " and she's done just that.   On her own.  Excitement, optimism, a new chapter.

There was Easter, which was perfect.   We've been so overwhelmed with selling the house, finding a new one, school issues, my work, etc., that we really didn't plan anything, but Sammie B really, really wanted to go on an Egg Hunt.  So, we dyed eggs, just the four of us, put the girls in their "fancy dresses" Sam had picked out all by herself, and did a mini-egg hunt in our front yard.  It was a perfect kind of holiday.  And just the kind we needed. 

They are my whole heart.   And the moments that define us are the ones like these.   I am so blessed to belong to this little family, exactly as we are.