Monday. Back to routine, to school, to work. To separate ways. To reconvening together at the dinner table. To doing the best we can.
Benjamin gathered his “Important Americans” biography project about Dr. Seuss and turned it in this morning. Mrs. Smith sent me a photo of him doing his presentation, and she said he did a fabulous job. I have no doubt. Banyan and I headed off to middle school, where I had yet another parent teacher conference about his progress this year. It was a valuable meeting and I am seeing a quantifiable shift in our oldest son. I am also seeing a shift in myself. Grades are becoming far less important to me than I expected they would be. What is important is the character and constitution Banyan shows when he puts forth effort, into being a good student, a good big brother, a good human. His heart is enormous. He may have issues with focus and time management, but where it counts, he is golden.
Michael started his day early and ended it late, with a big meeting in Tampa in between. I worked from home on our company’s website all day long. It felt good and I made huge progress. I thought of my husband so frequently today, editing copy about his work and carefully selecting the best images to capture his vision. I paused often to give thanks for his gifts and his persistence. He provides for our family in so many ways.
We had a fun dinner tonight (per Benji’s request). He helped me make sushi from scratch, with edamame and gyoza on the side. Earlier in the afternoon, sushi was a topic of conversation; Benji’s buddy mentioned that he’d seen a picture on social media of Benji eating his first sushi after Dr. Oshrine cleared him to eat raw fish. Benji spoke up with pride. “Do you know why that picture was on there?” he said. He told his friend about his special clearance. He couldn’t eat raw fish before, he said, “because of what I am going through.” These are often the words he chooses to describe his last 452 days–not cancer, not leukemia. What I am going through. I appreciate his description and his experience. It’s bigger than just one word. It’s treatment and procedures, it’s food restrictions and food cravings, it’s feelings he can’t describe, it’s the presence and then the assumed and prayerful absence of cancer cells. It’s much better summed up in Benji’s words.
Tomorrow is Tuesday. Cancer day. I have set aside some time for new research, for shipping rainbow stars, and for continuing to write what I hope will become a companion book for mothers of newly diagnosed children. What Benji is going through has taught me so much. I feel an obligation and an excitement to share it with others who need it.
Registration for third grade came home in Benjamin’s backpack today. I have no idea how this is possible. This year has absolutely flown by, especially in comparison to last year, when sleep and time took on new constructs. I remember considering second grade as a hopeful concept, a thing looming in the future, an experience in which I prayed Benjamin could participate. He is more than participating. He is knocking second grade out of the park. I’d say we are all doing the best we can.