Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Making room for the good: Olivia's first day of school

It was raining. 
Thundering, actually, which is the only thing that Olivia fears, a fact that I had dutifully noted on the “all about me form” that I filled out for her kindergarten teacher. 

But today was the first day of school for my youngest daughter, and the excitement in her as she bounded down the stairs before 7am, negated all anxiety about the thunder.  She dressed and ate breakfast, brushed her teeth and I helped her with her hair.  She put her lunch in her backpack and put on the sign that Kindergarteners wear around their neck on the bus to help direct them like the precious package that they in fact are. (There is a return address label on her, incidentally) Then, we waited nearly an hour for the time when the bus was due to arrive, with varying degrees of patience.
Olivia announced that she would not, of course, bring her special green blanket. 

She loves an umbrella, but dislikes thunder.  Today, she was not even a little troubled by the thunder boomers.  We grabbed an umbrella and walked to the bus stop where she sang, rather loudly “The sun will come out, tomorrow!”  A neighbor closed her window as she belted out the finale.  Probably because it is chilly today.

Then the bus rumbled down the street, and she was gone.



It is raining.
But I have a cup of coffee and a quiet moment before I continue to clean out the basement, discarding things that are broken and passing along toys that are no longer used.  I have neither had the time nor the inclination to evaluate the detritus of our lives.  The answer for nearly two years, when asked about an item has been “put it down in the basement and I will deal with it later.”  Well, later is now. 

I am happy to report that Brent has been cleared from Infectious Disease.  Neither he, nor Lauren, will return to hospital until mid October for scans, a break not experienced here in nearly two years.  So, I have both the time and the inclination now, to deal with those mundane, everyday things.  It is a luxury that I have not enjoyed, and somehow, I am looking forward to it.
There is something nostalgic about parting with items that are worn, and no longer useful.  There is a longing in a way, for the time past, when life was maybe simpler, or had more possibilities.  Despite this, I have always been pretty good about finding new homes for things that we no longer use, clothing we have outgrown.  And, I have always felt lighter after such purges.  I never have regrets, and feel that the process makes room for more useful things that are suitable for our current lives. 

You cannot embrace the present, if your hands are clinging to the past.

It is still raining, but harder.

Olivia is off on her new adventure, excited about the possibility of making new friends.  While there is part of me that regrets the details of her preschool years, it being a picture far different from the one that I would have painted for her, she is a happy child.  And I am grateful for this.  There is part of me that worries about the future, the thunder, and her fear. (As a very loud clap of thunder crashes outside my window, making me jump!)  She will be fine.

So, today I will make room for the good things in our current life by passing along the relics of our former one.  I am sure that there will be some conflicting emotions in this, sorting through our past, leaving open spaces, spaces which initially feel empty, but make room for our future. 
And on Thursday, I will continue to do the same sort of thing, but on a more personal level.  I will have surgery, ironically enough, exactly two years to the day of Brent’s diagnosis.  I feel that it is a fitting end to this chapter in our lives.  The kids are cancer free, and I will have finished everything that I can for my geneticist. 

I am making room for the good that is to come.  Because, as Olivia so musically declared, "The sun will come out Tomorrow!"

Today, I will pour myself another cup of coffee and dive in.  I will wait to hear of Livvy's new and exciting experience when the bus returns this afternoon, regardless of the weather.  Arms open to her, and to our future.

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