Sunday, February 29
Hugh and I share a few characteristics: but the most apparent one is our love for book-making. I have a plastic tub in the basement heaped with the hundreds of books I wrote and illustrated as a child (my parents could not bear to throw them out, and neither can I, so this chore is going to be passed on to the next generation, the poor dears). Hugh has now started down this path, too, completely unprompted by me. Although, yes, I admit to assisting his endeavors, when appealed to for help. This one was completely unaided by me, and in fact, Hugh gives the by-line to "The Printer" because he used so many pages printed off the computer! Very modest of him.
We have so many of his books now, that I am just starting to think of getting him his own plastic storage tub. But I'll put in in the attic!
Saturday, February 28
Friday, February 27
Henry had not seen my friend Katina in quite some time. Yesterday, she stopped by after school hours. The look of surprised delight on his face when he saw her was a pleasure to behold. I managed to capture a rare kiss, but I obviously had to move fast. Sorry about the blur.
Thursday, February 26
My studio is cluttered with unfinished paintings. I counted 19 of them yesterday, an all-time personal record. I now have to thread my way carefully around the stacks. All this hustle and bustle is because I am getting ready for a one person show in June at the Manayunk Art Center. It is essentially a show of work for the grant I got from the Independence Foundation last June. The pressure to finish is on!
Wednesday, February 25
Tuesday, February 24
of summer. Meanwhile, it is snowing outside, lightly but persistantly. In a burst of pre-spring energy and optimism I walked to the local garden center this morning and picked out lots and lots of gaudy seed packets. The brighter the better. And as I walked out of the store the snow began to fall.
Monday, February 23
candy hearts from Valentine's Day. We had our friends Liz and Chavis over last night for dinner, and it was a big meal: roast turkey and stuffing with (most) all the trimmings. Liz brought a delicious salad. But somehow, I'd forgotten about dessert. As we were clearing away the dinner plates my brain raced quickly over the possibilities, and had to settle on leftover Valentine candies. I kept thinking that if I was a REAL adult, as opposed to the pretend grownup that I am, I would have boxes of after-dinner mints or something like that squirreled away for just such a contingency. Perhaps a bottle of port. Instead, I had to raid my kid's leftover Valentine's Day candy. Oh well! Sure looked pretty.
Sunday, February 22
Saturday, February 21
on the trees this evening, due to fast-changing weather patterns. Clouds one moment, streaming sunlight the next. I have been inspired by my cousin Sue Sweeney's gardening newsletter The Monday Garden to notice the beautiful "bones" of the winter trees.
Friday, February 20
Thursday, February 19
Wednesday, February 18
ON THE TABLE
Henry in a meditative moment of adoration/contemplation of our dining room light fixture. His expression approaches that of the Buddha in his "serene yet remote" embodiment. Notice Henry's instinctive cross-legged pose on our dining room table. Hmmm. I mean, Ommm.
Tuesday, February 17
The schoolbus arrived at its new time this morning. In a good omen (I hope), Henry came running and eagerly danced onto it and into a seat. I was on tenterhooks all day. When the bus matron was helping him off at the end of the day she said "They told me to tell you he had a WONDERFUL first day!" What a relief! Of course, his behavior specialist warned me that there will be a "Honeymoon" period, then: watch out! But even just for now I am happy to be in the land of milk and honey. Or in Henry's case, the land of milk and cheese curls!
Monday, February 16
Friday, February 13
I had the exquisite pleasure today of bringing Peter, 10, and Hugh, 7, to the art supply store with me for the first time. They were game but uninterested: till we got there. Then it was like watching smaller versions of myself in art store mode: their breathing quickened, their eyes started scanning quickly in all directions, and both hands shot out, gently trembling, to touch all the wonderful textures and fascinating objects. It was magical. And it was very hard to tear ourselves away from the "feast".
Thursday, February 12
Wednesday, February 11
After much discussion, research and discussion with the school district (i.e. making a pain in the butt of myself), we've all agreed to change Henry from the private special needs school he is in now, to the autism support class in a local elementary school. This is a BIG change, and I hope it will be for the best. There is some regret at leaving the old school, but the new teacher seems great, and the classroom looks very organized and up-to-date. We visited today, to try and prepare him for next week's big change. Transitions with autistic kids can be (are usually) hellish, so PLEASE say a little prayer or make a little wish or think a good thought for us! We'll probably be "in the trenches" for the next few weeks.
Tuesday, February 10
Monday, February 9
Henry is so addicted to sensory stimulation that he will sometimes do anything to achieve his object. After allowing him a long period of supervised water play, I turned off the water supply to the faucet, so he wouldn't flood the bathroom. Lunch had to be made, the other children had needs which required attention, etc. But apparently Henry had not gotten his fill of water. I was downstairs in the kitchen when "CRASH!!!" There followed a stretched out nano-second of silence, the kind when one is simultaneously figuring out what the noise meant, denying that it just happened, and then accepting it. "NOOOO-OOOOH!"
Sunday, February 8
Saturday, February 7
Friday, February 6
BALL OF LIGHT
This a shot from about a year and a half ago. Henry momentarily entranced by an expanding sphere of some kind. I don't even know if it was me or Paul who took the shot, as we were sharing a camera at that time. Credit to Paul, I think. But he thinks I took it. Oh well, whatever.
Thursday, February 5
JUST CALL ME MRS. LENAPE
Peter is doing a report on the Lenape, a native american tribe. He is really into it, going far beyond the assignment requirements. It really IS fascinating, and I couldn't keep from laughing as I read what Peter wrote about the "Roles of Men and Women". Like we are so different today! And what about this pre-buddhist "One with Everything" philosophy (see below)? The more things change, the more they remain the same, as someone very wise once said. Unfortunately, I am not wise enough to remember their name.
Wednesday, February 4
Henry and Paul having a little morning whirl before the bus comes. Like most autistic children, Henry loves to spin and whirl. Something to do, again, with his differently wired sensory receptors. Puts me in mind of Whirling Dervishes, like the poet Rumi. Now if Henry would only pick himself up off the floor and start writing beautiful poetry! Perhaps he is thinking it.