I wrote this note before I got this week's chemo but am just sending it out now....
Thank you so much for your emails, phone calls, and cards, as well as your comments when I see you. I realize that I don't always respond or call. I generally intend to reach out to you in return, but I sometimes can't at that moment, and then, later, life starts whizzing by and I don't return to it all. Please know that I remember your words and your sentiments as I go through my days. I truly carry them with me, and they carry me, too. Thank you. It's hard to explain the expansive feeling this all gives me.
This round of chemo impacted me for more days than usual. Typically, I feel better by Saturday morning, but this time, I was still wiped out on Saturday night. On top of that, the awful stomach cramps returned the following Wednesday. I was happy that they passed by the next morning.
Thankfully, all of that is history and I feel great again. And when I am feeling good, it is hard to remember how bad it all felt. Then everything seems to be okay, and life is sunny again.
The big news here surrounds the start of school. Like many families, we loved our summer together and hated to see it end, while we were all ready and eager for school to start.
Aidan returned to school on the day after Labor Day, and he is in a "loop" year, where he has the same classmates, teachers and classroom as last year. It had been explained that, because this is all very familiar, it is like an extension of last year and the kids can jump right into learning. I was a bit skeptical, mostly because I still carry a bit of attitude that says, "my son doesn't necessarily conform to the norm." Still, I kept a hopeful eye out for signs a smooth re-entry to school.
On the first day, I was surprised by how familiar it all was to ME. I loved seeing the familiar, friendly faces of parents who have become our friends enter the classroom with their children, everyone full of summer sun and energy. The animated conversations made the air sing, as the kids were saying hello to each other and the parents were saying good-bye to the kids.
I took a moment to watch the dynamics of the children in the classroom. I am not a naturally child-centered person. I often have mine tag along with me rather than structure my day around them. I don't understand what goes on in their brains, and I'm not the most patient person on earth. In fact, there was a time in my life where I viewed parent-child affection as something akin to the feelings that can arise between kidnapper and captive. I'll admit, I have come to adore my own two little kidnappers!
And, sure, I liked Aidan's classmates. But I was blown away to find that I was suddenly in love with each and every one of these kids. I love how one of the boys starts his day by reading a book, how a little girl likes to draw by herself as she slowly joins her friends in conversation, and was surprised to realize that I even know these little details about them, that I noticed that without really knowing that I did. I love the way they interact together, how they invite others into their circle, how they push and shove to make space for themselves and for their friends.
As I watched Aidan happily playing with a friend he missed over the summer, I realized that I love these kids individually and as a group and am so thankful that he has friends who know him so well, too. And I get to be part of it all.
I hope that you are happily surprised by the love you feel for those in your life, and get to take a moment to feel the love and happiness they share with you.
Love and blessings to you,