Benjamin felt great this morning. He was awake when I returned from my morning bridge walk, excited for the day and in a happy mood. We dropped him off at school, then I went with Banyan to his middle school to volunteer for the first time.
The transition from elementary school to middle school is a huge one. I was so involved in the classroom before; now I hardly know Banyan’s teachers. So I was grateful for today’s opportunity. They were having a field day today. My job, along with three other mothers, was to man the empty classrooms and make sure kids who returned for water or bathroom breaks didn’t go astray. It was honestly quite a lame act of volunteerism. I had very little to do. I did sneak out to go find Banyan during the field day and watch what they were doing for a few minutes. He was navigating a series of balance beams and seemed to be having a good time. And I made a new friend, which felt so nice. She is a fellow knitter and a caregiver and her big heart compelled me to share much more of our journey this year than I had expected to. For the first time, I didn’t feel awkward when I spoke about it. I didn’t stumble over my words. I felt almost as clear as I feel when I am writing.
Benjamin’s eight birthday is next Tuesday, and the celebrations are beginning. Today was his pseudo-birthday at school. Each of the students wrote about why they are thankful for him (I can’t wait to read their answers tomorrow) and I brought in cupcakes for a special afternoon treat. Mrs. Smith led the class in song in spectacular fashion. It was a great birthday kickoff for a very deserving boy.
I find it interesting that during this time of reflecting on Benji’s birth, birth itself has planted itself in my life again. Our sweet friends had a baby boy today. Another friend in her ninth month of pregnancy is concerned about her blood pressure. Another friend is in her window to give birth any day, and still another friend is concerned that her baby may not be nursing enough. These are the kinds of things that filled much of my days before Benjamin was diagnosed. And while I’m not ready to dive back into that world completely, I am grateful for this resurgence. The love and compassion I feel when I speak with a new mother is overwhelming. It opens my heart. Right now, in this season, my heart is ready to burst open.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for the boys, then we head into party season this weekend. I don’t see it stopping until after the New Year. Two weeks of celebrating health, amazing children, good fortune, excellent friends, and a rock solid family–yes sir. I’ll take it.
Cheers. To your health.