Friday, June 06, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

My natural cheerfulness reasserts itself!! The sunny summer days do not allow for feeling miserable and besides, I solved part of my problem with the Fanged Frog (FF). Tori kept expressing her need to ask questions of the FF, to discover information about her infancy, so I pulled out her baby book (which I had been saving for the right moment and kind of forgot about), sat down with her at the kitchen table, fetched the tissues she requested, and comforted her as she read through it, looked at the pages and the pictures, and asked me questions.

The baby book apparently met her immediate needs regarding the FF. I wish I had thought of it sooner, but perhaps had she seen it before she felt this emotional crisis, it would not have had the impact, or given the comfort, that it has. We are talking about other ways to capture her early childhood - a digital photo album perhaps. I do have more pictures from the early years that I haven't shown her and they will be great for the next crisis.

The FF had some pictures of Tori on her My Space that she stole from Tori's My Space or got from her own mother (or mother's house after Marilyn died in December). I have gotten My Space central to agree to remove them based on copyright violation, so hopefully that will happen soon.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have started participating in an Artist's Way process group for 12 weeks with some wonderful long-term friends - Lynn and Carol - and some new friends - Jan and Luisa. We meet at a Denny's from 10:30 to noon once a week, then eat together. Just two sessions already have me thinking more positively about my creative work. And Michael is working with us. Although he can't come to the meetings, he did join us for lunch today.

Beyond that, I am in quite a state of flux and anticipation. Any moment, Tori's new school (where she will board starting in a few weeks) should be giving us a start date for her, which means I can't make any reliable plans for myself. I am also spending a lot of time shopping for clothes with her. (The school has a list of required clothing.) Do you know how hard it is to find chinos for a teen-aged girl in June in Houston? We have been attacking this shopping list for two months and still have only three of the required five pair of chinos. I also must provide a fall jacket and winter coat. Let us hope those items can be added in the fall because they aren't around anywhere except thrift stores right now.

What will it be like for me without Tori at home? Hard in many ways. Tori and I have spent so much time together after school and summers in the last 14 years that I can't imagine my home without her. It will be very quiet, I can tell you that. I will miss her noise.

Tori plays the flute and the piano. She sings. She plays music too loudly. She talks on the telephone, plays music, and talks to me all at the same time. She bangs every door or cupboard she touches. She knocks things over. Tori is a bundle of auditory overload. How quiet my home will be without her. It makes me almost sorry for yelling at her to turn the music down!! Almost sorry ...

She is a hugger and I will miss those hugs. She is a weeper and I will miss comforting her. She is a laugher and I will miss her belly laughs. She is exuberant and my life will be flat without her.

Waiting for the letter or phone call about school is hard. I have had a constant knot in my stomach lately. I tell myself that this is for her own good - and it truly is - but it seems hard to remember in June the pyrotechnical events of last January that started us down this road to boarding school. It tempts me to just say things have settled down and she can stay home, but I know that would be a mistake for her and for us. So I prepare as best I can for the quiet days ahead by anticipating the creative work I can accomplish in those empty hours.

Despite my anxiety about Tori's departure, I do feel cheerful; I just can't help myself.


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