Monday, January 31, 2011

The Young Man at the Bus Stop

I was standing at the bus stop, waiting for the number 7 bus to Tel HaShomer hospital. As he arrived at the bus stop, and sat down, I immediately noticed that the young man had Down syndrome. I was impressed by his appearance; he was impeccably dressed. He appeared confident and self assured. And shortly afterwards I noticed that as an older man passed, he nodded towards the young adult, saying “Hi Charles” (not his real name), “How ya’ doin’ ?” and “Charles” smiled and answered “Fine, thanks.”
I subdued my impulse to mention that I have a teenage daughter with Down syndrome. This fellow probably isn’t interested in that, and undoubtedly does NOT want to know that his Down syndrome is apparent. I gulped and pulverized the desire to engage him in any discussions about what he does all day.
But a moment later he asked me “The last bus that went by right now, was it a number 54?”
“NO”, I responded, “It was a 92 bus to Petach Tikva. But there WAS a 54 bus about five minutes ago. But the 54 bus comes often, there should be another one soon.”
“Yeah. Well, I can take the 54 or 62.”
The conversation ended, but my unobtrusive observation of “Charles” had not. He was glancing sideways, and tinkering with something in his shirt pocket. A number 62 bus approached, and I waited to see if he would notice…. And he did, but too late. The driver, who had slowed down a tad, had seen no one standing as he approached and he started regaining speed. “Charles” jumped up and tried to wave to the driver, but he was gone already.
“Charles” slumped back into his seat. “They are supposed to stop!” he added, a bit angrily.
“Yes”, I answered, “But you know, if you don’t stand as he approaches, the driver thinks that you are waiting for another bus, like the 92 or the 7. You have to look as I am, at the buses as they arrive, and stand up as the one you want arrives.”
“But he’s supposed to stop!”
“But you have to look for your bus and stand anyway….”
And when his bus arrived next time, he was ready, and boarded, self confidence back in tow……

Blog Gems- Air Your Archives

I have posted a post over at "Blog Gems - Air Your Archives #8"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Allowing Our Fears to Rule…..

We were to go to my step daughter for the Friday evening meal. It is a short 13 minute walk from us, and on Friday evenings the streets are basically closed to traffic. So what was there to fear?
Ricki’s older sister had left ahead of us, going to her sister’s house before Shabbat set in, so that she could use the elevator to haul her baby carriage up to her sister’s apartment. Arriving an hour later would mean hauling the carriage up five flights of stairs.
Ricki, on exiting her pre-Shabbas bath session was stricken to realize that her sister had left without her. Or, to be more precise, she was pained by the knowledge that she was not about to enjoy a stroll with her nephew’s baby carriage………
As a result, she wanted to leave RIGHT NOW. But the time to Shabbas was short, and I needed her help. And Ricki, bless her, acquiesced. She set about helping me straighten up in the living room, sweeping,etc.
Fianally shabbat arrived.
“OK., I’m leaving.”
Ricki wanted to walk over to her step-sister’s house. She assured me that she knew the way. And chances are that she did. Ricki has been there several times, and she has an excellent memory for “places”. The traffic was stopped, and there were plenty of people on the street to help her if someone would start up with her.
So what was my problem?
Well, the building we were going to looks nearly identical to the one next to it. What if Ricki mixed them up? What if she couldn’t find the apartment? What if some evil person offered to help her and took her elsewhere?? What if……..well, a mother’s fears are endless.
But Ricki is growing up. She won’t be walking with my escort forever. And realistically, if she got mixed up with the buildings, she would ask a woman for help, or come home. The choice was between 100% safety and independence. It is SSSOOO hard to choose, to give in to Ricki’s wish for independence, and not to coddle her. I feel the responsibility of keeping her safe, yet at the same time, realize that her future safety depends on her learning to fend for herself.
I let her go. I thinkI got a needed push due to the influence of a recently-read post by Dave Hinsburger (who is an expert on disabilities and safety for the intellectually impaired). And my heart was in my throat until I too arrived an hour later. Of course I asked Ricki nonchalantly on my arrival, if she had any trouble finding the right building.
“No. Of course not. I told you I knew where sis lives….”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Pigeon

“What’s that noise?” Ricki asked, as we heard the cooing of a pigeon this afternoon.
“A pigeon”, I answered, as I went to the window to check out where the bird was. As much as I enjoy seeing birds, these birds have a reputation for bringing some type of worms wherever they build their nests, so I wanted to discourage them from building on my windowsill. Opening the window slats was surely a discouragement, as one flew away immediately. The other stayed put, and Ricki came over to look. “What’s that?” she queried, pointing at his beak.
“A twig.”
“A twig?!?”
“Yeah. For building a nest….”
“Oh, he wants to have a home…..”

What I enjoyed the most about the above exchange was that Ricki was asking, thinking, and reacting to something unrelated to her everyday life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bus Stories: 2

Relinquishing the “Single” Seat
A few days ago I was on a bus to another part of the Tel Aviv metropolis. The bus was full; nearly all the seats were taken, and many of the travelers were standing. So I stood next to the few single chairs which are on the front left side. I am used to standing next to these chairs, because two years ago they were the only chairs I would use. .(If I would have sat in a double seat, I would “overflow” it, thus effectively rendering the seat next to mine inaccessible.) I was waiting for one of the single seat occupants to get off, ready to “pounce” on any of the single chairs if they would be vacated.
Then I noticed a very overweight man was also standing next to the row of single chairs. And at the same time I realized: “He can not, will not, sit elsewhere. But I CAN.” So I walked further into the bus, and chose a half of a double seat to sit in. I am hereby relinquishing any and all need for the single seats…..

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bus Stories: 1

One day about three weeks ago I traveled top Jerusalem by bus. And it just so happened that it was a day that many people traveled, so the bus, which often has a few empty seats, started filling up.
[Now even though I have lost a lot of weight, and I don’t REALLY “flow over” to the next seat, I fit into one seat just barely. This means that if the person next to me is to be comfortable, and have plenty of room, they need to be thin.]
So as the bus started filling up, I started hoping that someone REALLY thin would sit by me, fearing that the last passenger to board, if even moderately overweight, and if forced to sit by me, would feel uncomfortable. One of the last passengers to board was of average size, and she sat next to me. She said “hello” very nicely, made a comment or two, and opened a book. The trip passed uneventfully, and when she departed she smiled and said “It was nice sitting with you.”
This lady made my day. Just with a few short words. Which made me wonder how many people may feel that they are a “bother” to others, not appreciated by their neighbors. A just a few words would make them feel SSSOOO much better. Let’s try and give this a try, and do it ourselves.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In the Park

Yesterday I was walking in the national park, and I saw several interesting people and scenes:
First I noticed a group of about 8 or 9 elderly men, sitting around a large table set up on the lawn. They were playing cards, talking, laughing, and apparently having a great time.
Not far from them I saw a young man and his dog, sitting on a bench, shared with what appeared to be his elderly parents. He seemed unhurried, and simply glad to share some time with his folks.
Further on in the park I saw a middle-aged couple, lounging near the lake in lawn chairs, having a picnic brunch.
The last “couple” I noticed was a younger woman pushing a stroller, and smiling She was accompaning an obviously grumpy old man. She however appeared calm and unhurried.

People enjoying people. All out in the sun.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Eyeglasses (Again!)

About a week and a half ago Ricki again lost her eyeglasses. This time, though, she was concerned, and showed me where she had put them down (when straightening out her schoolbag). So we ordered two new pairs, choosing the very cheapest frames. I paid for them, and was informed that the glasses would be ready on Wednesday.
Several times early in the week, Ricki asked if the glasses were ready, and after asking a few times, progressed to just a “check”: “They will be ready on Wednesday, right?”
Wednesday noon, it so happened, Ricki’s dress got very dirty, and she came home from school to change. And on the way back to school, on her own, she simply popped into the optometrists and picked up the glasses……

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Trudge

Ricki was in a rather contrary mood this morning. I can’t figure out anything that set her off; she simple was in a bad mood. Well, we all have days like that, but with Ricki they are becoming more and more frequent. (That’s one of the reasons we have started taking her to a psychologist. All the good parenting and positive messages in the world just do not seem to be enough for her right now, probably due to the poor mental health of a different family member.)
She fought with me on nearly everything, and early on I confiscated the key to the front door so that she could not leave for school until she looked decent (ie, had put on a bra and combed the tangles from her hair). Luckily she enjoys school, so the specter of not being allowed out the front door finally got her going.
However, she had wasted enough time that she was going to miss her ride, and when I warned her of the fact, she shrugged it off as if it was all a figment of my dark imagination. As she left the house I could hear the driver honking downstairs, but by the time I reached the window (where I could signal to him that she was on her way), he was gone. Ricki ambled peaceably to the corner, and I decided NOT to tell her that she had missed her ride; it would increase her anger, and I am hoping that by the time she reaches the school, her Concerta will have “kicked in” ,and that she will be in a mellower mood.
After about a five minute wait, I saw her turn and start the trudge to school (a twenty minute walk). And you know, despite the fact that she behaved atrociously this morning, I still felt sorry for her. Because I love her. (But because I love her, I also will let her experience the consequences of her behavior.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Contest Winners/ Explanation

The first piece has four scenes which are (slightly) related. I suspect that the reason no one caught on completely is because I did not have the ability to make the vases as I reaklly wanted them. I wanted them to be more pear-shaped. I am a childbirth (Lamaze) Teacher, and after Ricki's birth, for years now, I have wanted to do this piece of work (the four-part piece). The vases are wombs, and the families shown are:
Closeup of far left: The large family (despite society's concern the mother really nurtures them all with her embrace)

The second scene:The woman without children, crying and praying for offspring, and who may feel as if her blood is being shed.....

Note that the entire work was done in brown clay except for one bit which was done with white clay (the white flower): This is the family with a special-needs child

The far right scene can be well seen on the picture of the complete piece. It is the mother who has only a single child.
The second, smaller piece is one scene, and here it is showing a family where one of the children is leaving behind his religious roots, his "Leaves" are like wings, but his mother is reaching out, tearfully, to try (unsucessfully) to catch him.

Square Peg 613 was the closest in "catching on", but I can see that I have a long way to go before becoming an artist! LOL!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Secretariat and Seabiscuit

This week I wasted some time watching a movie, “Secretariat”. I really didn’t have the time, but last year I had seen (and enjoyed) the movie “Seabuscuit”, and decided to “make the time” to see “Secritariat”. Both are movies trumpeting the success of a race horse (and their owners), largely with a message of “If you will it, it will be”. But I felt that there was a very subtle difference in the tone of the movies.
In seabuscuit, the message that a “damaged” horse and rider are still worthwhile is loud and clear. The decision to keep the jockey despite his vision problem is a prime example. But there is a much bigger difference. In seabuscuit, several of the scenes show the training period, the intense preparations. In “Secretariat” this is notably absent. Instead we see the fierce determination of the owner to win (even when the whole effort is apparently impacting on her relationship with her husband and family). [ Yes, determination is important, but the question arises: “At what price?”] But the near absence of scenes from training sessions seems to lead the viewer to a message of “determination is paramount”. And I hate to say it, but it isn’t. Because determination is limited in what it can obtain.
For example, take dieting. A good resolve to diet and lose weight is good. But if you don’t match that determination with getting enough sleep, exercising, having vegetables on hand, and finding non-food alternatives to stress, determination is not likely to get you very far. If you REALLY want to do something, you will need to take the necessary steps to get there.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Real Banana

The other day I saw Ricki take a banana, and after peeling it, mash it up. I was rather surprised, as her nephew was out, and there were no other babies around to feed---or so I thought.
Ricki gathered a spoon, and taking the banana went to the high chair and proceeded to “feed” the banana to some imaginary child. Then, before I could stop her, she tossed it, after about five minutes, into the trash. I don’t mind the game, but I wish that she had saved the food….

Monday, January 17, 2011

RE: “Rushing By”: Not as Bad as I Thought

In September I posted about how it took me about an hour to reach a park my step-daughter could reach in about half the time. Recently I have realized that the way I walked to the national park was a bit “round about”. Last week I walked there by a more direct walk, reaching there in a bit under an hour, which would be about 45 minutes from my step-daughter’s house. So the difference in our walking rate is NOT 1 60/30 minutes, but 45/30. It sounds a bit better, doesn’t it? (But I still wonder why the difference bothers me. After all, I AM 30 years her senior…..)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Telling It Like It Is…./ Progress

Telling It Like It Is
Yesterday morning there was a break in the rain, so I got out to “stretch my legs”. After the first half hour or so, I stopped by the house and urged Ricki to join me for a slow walk. After a bit of prodding, she agreed to come.
However, each puddle we passed, she (like any two-year old) stomped into it on purpose. Finally I Brain-washed her told her like it is:
“Ricki, only little girls walk into rain puddles. Nearly-adult teen girls AVOID puddles, because they don’t want to ruin their shoes….”

Guess what? She stopped stepping into the water. I did it right…….

Also yester day I played a game with Ricki (“Li Mi Yeesh”) where one has to describe an object, without naming it. [ie, a saw would be called “a work tool that you can cut wood with…” or the like] In the past, Ricki has invariably blurted out the name of the object, and has had trouble GIVING a description (although she has been able to follow my descriptions for years already…). Well, yesterday she had NO problem giving directions, and won the game hands down. (GRIN!)

The Two Brothers

I noticed them as I was nearing my house after a pleasant walk a week ago on Saturday. They were walking in the middle of the street (EVERYONE does that here on shabbas (sat); there are no cars), and from the similarity of their faces, it was obvious that they were brothers. And they were laughing a lively only-we-understand–the-joke laugh. I guessed that the boys were about 9 or ten, or twelve. Both were dressed in the standard white shirts and black pants worn here by nearly everyone, although one of them still stood out. The younger sibling walked with a limping, twisted walk, and was slightly bent. And his face was slightly contorted.
But they were having a hell of a good time. But what I noticed most was the older, “normal” sibling. He was not looking around, glancing at others, or noticing that they were being “noticed”. Rather than hiding in normalcy, rather than trying to keep his brother quiet, the older sibling was enjoying time with his brother, and seemingly doing it with a “I’ll-be-damned-if –I-care” attitude.
I didn’t just see two brothers. I witnessed love.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lots of Ideas, No Time

I have several posts planned, but right now no time to write them...
Meanwhile, I wish a few more of my regular readers would try to "interpert" my ceramic piece, trying to be as specific as you can. Hint: Regular readers of the blog are more likely to guess correctly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ricki's photos -A Trip to the Port City of Ashdod

Ricki had a trip today, and she took a few pictures. At first I was impressed that she hadn't wasted a lot of shots as she always does. But I was equally puzzled that she only took photos of objects, and not of her friends. I quickly solved the puzzle by checking the batteries... and yes, they were depleated. But the shots she DID take were all good.

A Contest (Guessing Game?)

I am posting pictures here of my latest ceramic work- a “picture”! The first reader to correctly figure out what these images represent will hopefully receive (I will try) a piece of ceramic work from me.
And before you comment, NO, they are NOT upside down.
The first piece has four scenes which are (slightly) related.
Closeup of far left:

The second scene:

Note that the entire work was done in brown clay except for one bit which was done with white clay (the white flower):

The far right scene can be well seen on the picture of the complete piece.
The second, smaller piece is one scene:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Punishment

Yesterday evening I was supposed to take Ricki shopping for new shoes- an activity I was sure that she would be enthusiastic about. The same morning, she had acted VERY sassy towards me, but I refrained from dishing out a punishment so as not to give her the pleasure of getting a reaction from me.
On her return from her afternoon group, I noticed that she had grabbed 6 (SIX!) pieces of bread, so I quickly informed her that I did not agree to such indulgences and unhealthy eating, and insisted that she return the bread to me. She didn’t, so I offered the ultimate consequence: “If you don’t return the bread, we won’t go she shopping today.” And to my horror, it didn’t work. Monday would have been by far the easiest day for me to do the shopping, but the die had been cast. We did not going shopping.
Remind me if she misbehaves Thursday to think of a DIFFERENT consequence, FAST!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Personal Freedom Vs Personal Responsibility

Yesterday afternoon Ricki came breezing in the door at 2:30 in the afternoon, announcing that she was no longer going to her afternoon program “except on Tuesdays”. A quick round of questions showed that this was a choice made on a slight whim; she has nothing against the program. Last year when she stopped going, she was not enjoying the program, but that is not the case now.
So I decided that Ricki needed to learn a bit of responsibility. After all, when she some day has a job, I don’t want her deciding on her own when she will go and not (unless of course there is a valid reason). So, first I explained that she had not talked to me about coming home early; she could have arrived to a locked door. Then I walked her over to the program, even though doing so put a definite dent into my day’s schedule. She was happy to go, but here the point was that you don’t just change your mind daily. One needs to take commitments and choices seriously….

Sunday, January 9, 2011

“Walking” on Shabbas

There are several halachic aspects (pertaining to Orthodox Jewish religious law) which apply to “walking” for exercise on shabbas. When my neighbor heard that I “walk” on shabbas, she noted that the practice was forbidden. Actually, it is not so simple, and as I explained to her, I do not *REALLY* walk on shabbas- my walking on the Sabbath day is slower (not strenuous) and generally of a lesser amount. And I don’t go out “walking” if I don’t feel like it.
Rabbi Neuwirth in "Shmirath Shabbath Kehilchatha" writes that he heard from Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, shlita, that if the person enjoys the exercise it is permitted for him to do it on Shabbat. And that is the main reason I walk on shabbas--- walking makes me feel better physically AND mentally. The fact that I know that it is good for my health is irrelevant.
However, there can be other problems. If one walks outside of the area of the eruv, one can not carry drink, tissues, or the like. Also in non-religious neighborhoods (but a Jewish community), one needs to be careful when crossing a street not to cause a driver to brake because of you. And sometimes this is much easier said than done. Often the only way is to stand aside and appear to not want to cross the street at all, and then to dash across when no cars are coming--- which yesterday, at one corner, caused me a several-minutes-long break.
Another problem with exercise "walking" on shabbas, is that if something unforeseen happens, you may be stuck a good walk from home, and no way to get back there besides walking back. For example, yesterday for the first time in ages, I went walking in a non-religious area. I had a sudden urge to walk over to the national park, and since I REALLY felt up to it, and wanted to go, I did, although I took care to walk slower than usual. When I was a good 45 minutes away from the house I slipped and fell (the pavement was wet). Luckily I was not hurt, but as I got up I was initially horrified to realize that I had slipped on dog droppings. I panicked, thinking that if my clothes had gotten dirty, I was stuck to remain that way until I returned home. LUCKILY my clothes were clean, and I was able to continue on to my destination. Subsequently, on the way home, a second “unexpected” occurrence popped up. The beautifully sunny sky became clouded, and a downpour started. I dashed under the nearest building for cover, and after 5 minutes the rain stopped, and I was able to continue home. So if you are a Sabbath observer, and you “walk” on shabbas, BE CAREFUL!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three is a Party!

Part of the reason I have been so busy lately is because Y and D’s older brother, who currently resides in the US, is here. And Y has a month off from the army… and D came home for weekend leave at 7AM rather than 7 PM. So I made pizza for lunch, and it was so nice having all the big strapping roosters (I can hardly call these taller-than-me kids “chicks”, can I???) “under my wing”!

Monday, January 3, 2011

“When You Believe”

I recently read a review of Mariah Carey’s work, by someone bemoaning her syrupy songs, indicating that her sexy ones are better. Well, I like the syrup ones… Recently I came across “When You Believe”.
As is my custom, I have my own interpretation of the message….and to me it is an anthem of strength for anyone going through a situation that is not likely to change significantly in the near future…. So here are the words of the song, along with my comments, and a video of the song is beneath that….

Many nights we've prayed
(It seems that we turn to G-d most when we feel that we are in a “night”)
With no proof anyone could hear
(We know that G-d hears, but since we don’t always “see” an answer, sometimes we feel that No One is listening….)
In our hearts a hopeful song
(Yet we hope for G-d’s help)
We barely understood

Now we are not afraid

(We need not be afraid because we trust that whatever happens will be for our ultimate good)
Although we know there's much to fear
(There are so many things that can go “wrong” in our lives)
We were moving mountains long
(Once we truly started to turn our lives over to G-d’s will – 12 steps style- we found the power to move the mountains within us)
Before we knew we could
(We suddenly realized that we had an internal strength far beyond any we imagined having….)

There can be miracles, when you believe
(When you believe in your ability to change for the better, you can find the strength to do so)
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
(Sometimes our self-belief—and trust in G-d - is frail)
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
(But you will be amazed at the changes you can make inside**)
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
(When we fear something—feeling inadequate….)
When prayers so often prove(s) in vain
(Sometimes we expect G-d to make an easy “instant” cure… and that is not the response we get from G-d)
Hope seems like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away

(We suddenly realize that G-d is not going to solve everything for us, we suddenly realize that our hopes for all to be “OK” just isn’t going to happen…)

Yet now I'm standing here
(Yet we learn to survive in a situation that is less than perfect)
My heart's so full I can't explain
(Yet the changes I make in myself to deal with a given situation makes me OH SO MUCH STRONGER)
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say

(I sometimes acknowledge that as hard as things are at times, and as much as I fight the thought of enduring this situation, I admit that it has improved me as a person)

There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

They don't (always happen) when you ask
(G-d doesn’t always make the “wrong” go away)
And it's easy to give in to your fears
(That we can’t manage)
But when you're blinded by your pain
(Yes, sometimes G-d gives us a painful situation)
Can't see your way straight through the rain
(We feel oh so lost)
(A small but )still resilient voice
(Yet inside that spark of holiness that G-d planted in us)
Says (hope is very near)
(reminds us)

There can be miracles (Miracles)
(The miracle that we adapt and achieve happiness within, in spite of it all)
When you believe (Lord, when you believe)
(When we believe in G-d enough to realize that even this trial is His will)
Though hope is frail (Though hope is frail)
(Even when we initially find it hard to believe that we can find moments of contentment, self assurance, and happiness in the midst of this test)
It's hard to kill (Hard to kill, Ohhh)

Who knows what miracles, you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will (somehow, somehow, somehow)
somehow you will

You will when you believe

You will when you
You will when you believe
Just your heart
Just believe
You will when you believe

** Because, realistically that is the ONLY change we have control over. We can not force others to bend to our will, we can not force others to do what is right… we ultimately can only control ourselves. But that is hopefully enough….

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Humph, Stomp, Stomp….

About an hour and a half ago, shortly before Ricki left for school, I noticed a large gaily wrapped “gift” in one of her bags. Immediately I understood that further investigation was imperative. And in addition, I noted that she was wearing a lovely pair of gloves… that were not hers. I assumed that the gloves belonged to a classmate, and after badgering her for a few minutes, she removed them, throwing them on the floor of her room. I later retrieved them, in order to take them myself to her school (as part of my exercise walk today or tomorrow), in order to ensure their return to the proper owner.
The package was harder to deal with, but when Ricki realized that I would not unlock the front door of the house before investigating the packaged contents of her bag, she reluctantly relented.
Within was some packaged plastic item, the use of which was unknown to me, but obviously something belonging to one of Ricki’s older brothers. Upon it’s confiscation, Ricki disappeared for a few moments, and returned wrapping up something new. It was my new weekday necklace. (Which makes me fear that a new necklace I purchased recently for shabbas wear, and noted to be missing yesterday, may be far away and gone by now….) Upon confiscation of my necklace, Ricki angrily stomped out of the house, sticking her tongue out at me, and calling me “retarded”. (Unfortunately, in her years of inclusion, she learned that this is an “appropriate” canard…..)
THEN, with the emotional frailty of a child, she turned to me to receive her daily “going out the door” hug. Now I am a big believer in sending children off to school in a good mood. And I accept apologies easily. But here there was no regret, and I felt that Ricki needs to learn that if you are mean to others, and insult them, they will not always let “bygones be bygones”. So I refused to hug her. After two attempts, she turned, cursing royally, and stomped down the stairs. Of course, by then she had missed her ride to school, and I can only hope that after trudging the four and a half blocks to school that she will be in a better mood.
[And it turned out that the gloves belong to her visiting brother (who currently lives in the US).]

Long Absence

I know that I have been ignoring this blog for the last two weeks. Unfortunately, certain things in my private life have been keeping me busier than usual.
The biggest change is that Ricki has returned to her afternoon program which she dropped out of almost a year ago. I haven’t had the time recently to do as many activities as I once did with her, and Ricki has been bored. So when I suggested that she return to the afternoon program, even if she is not in the same group as her classmates, she readily agreed.
She has been attending the program for a few days and seems to be enjoying it fully. This is a G-dsend for me at this moment, as it allows me to center on other things right now. But it does mean that I see less of Ricki, and will probably have fewer stories to relate in the meantime……