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Monday, March 03, 2014

Let the Wild Rumpus Start

CG and I are now in the process of selecting kindergartens for Thistle. It is another big impending change--it makes me realize I am in this for the long haul (not like I didn't know that before...but there are things that make the process more "real" for me).  I feel extremely grateful that, because of the funds we will receive until Thistle is 18, we can afford private school for her through high school (btw when she graduates high school, I will be 68 years old--no golden years for me and no empty nest til then.  I haven't been asked to get the senior citizen discount yet anyplace, though, despite the fact that I let my hair go gray).  We are seriously considering (and she has been recommended for) the advanced school for kids in Santa Cruz (the old Popper-Keizer school, now under a new name).
I went into this part of my life for three reasons:  it was the right thing to do (and I try to do the right thing when I can), I wanted to give Thistle a good life, and I wanted my daughter to know that her child was safe and loved, and in our family instead of a foster home.  Caring for Thistle derailed much of my previous life, as such things do:  I found it impossible to continue to teach while she was little and demanding of so much time; I could not attend writing groups and dance classes when I wanted to; I spent hundreds of dollars on babysitters and other childcare whenever I wanted to do pretty much anything outside the home; I basically slept in a rocking chair with her for months because she screamed and bit herself half the night unless she was held; I lost, as a tangential process, people I cared very much about.  When Thistle came to me, she never smiled unless I teased it our of her (it was pretty disturbing to have a little baby, not yet two, who never smiled).  She now shows no signs of an autism spectrum disorder, and part of the reason for that is because I sweated blood to help her (and so did many others--even people who were uncomfortable with kids in general, helped her--even small ways were significant for her well-being).

This is not the life I thought I would have.  It is a life I chose, but it also chose me.  I never thought that CG and I would be bound in this way, but we are...and we are truly good parents to Thistle.  Becoming a "relative caregiver" added more chaos to a life I was trying to bring out of chaos--but sometimes life is like that.  Sometimes life adds MORE chaos to chaos, and one is left to unravel the big snarled tangle.  There's some beauty in unraveling a huge knot (as I know from knitting), when you reach the point where the knot begins to smooth out and the tangle eases.  These things test and refine courage, and strengthen the soul.  Sometimes you have to adjust to becoming comfortable with uncertainty--and I have found that the more I am willing to put things into Higher Power's hands, the more "right" the solution is and the more quickly it appears in my life.  To say, "I ask only for knowledge of Your will and the power to carry it out" is the truest prayer I know for myself.  It is listening with the heart instead of the mind, and not bullying God. 

What I try to remember--that things which seem impossible to unravel, at first, always seem to have a solution, and when no solution presents itself, sometimes just letting go is the final step in the unraveling, and God or whatever you call the force of good in the world, finishes the task.

Well, dear readers, school visits begin on Wednesday.  I have been given this path.  Where will it lead?  I don't know.  I've been given the path, and all I know is to follow it with faith and trust.  I parachute once again into the dark with a smile on my face and trust in my heart.

Wish us luck!