Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The New Year and bits to remember

I post less frequently lately, but there is a lot going on... just not things that can be easily photographed or reduced to one liners... and that is a good thing.  As someone said today to me - time to catch up on life.. and for me, also, time to record some tiny bits of it because otherwise I may forget the essences... those that fade and change and transmute 'just so'.. some quickly, some so hard you do not see it until one day you realize it is different. Like the puppy being twice the size she was last week, or the old toddler dress in my scrap pile being half the size of the one I made for Esme just last week etc etc...

And that ties into several things for me in this New Year.  I didn't make any resolutions... except to keep working at the good things, the things that are important.. and I would do that anyway.  And I like where we are - know things will change, and getting ready for whatever we can, how we can.

This little bit of patchwork pictured is an embodiment of that... it is filled with little bits of this and that collected and saved over the entirety of Esme's lifetime.  It contains (not in the first picture, but in the second) bits from her very first baby blankets all the way up to clothes she is still wearing.  And I don't have any immediate plans for it.. except to try to keep it and keep it nice... for whatever it will become, and add on to it as it seems fitting... or onto other pieces, that might one day become other things, or the same thing... it is kind of a philosophy of memory and effort in fabric... and that says a lot about me, and my view of the world.  One of my oldest memories - probably before five years old, is going through the multitude of fabric in our house, seeing every different pattern - the fabric that was not things, the fabric that was part of everyday things... how were they different, how were they alike, which ones were in both piles. I didn't think so deeply on it then - it was just color and pattern and hey - those match etc... but it was important to me, and as I grew up sewing in the same household, using fabrics and collecting bits here and there, recycling a shirt, patching something with a bit from another project - I felt time and memory crystallized in those objects, and the memories around that time they represent - like riding the elevator with my mom at Kremers for the very last time to get the flannel fabric for my eighth grade quilt...

so now I look at the little red and white flower fabric in the bottom left corner and I see a rabbit Esme held onto the leg of, and her pink rabbit quilt I made as her receiving blankets, and the blue and white star fabric that was a sundress when she was three, and a multitude of other things.

I like that, it is my own private treasure trove.. with nothing more than my memory.  And I fear a little there, with my mom and her memory problems, but... that is somewhere in the future and the past.

And the other bits I want to remember now : Esme has 'changed phase' since she started school.. it is scary and amazing all at once.  She can open many more things with her hand coordination - like twist ties on bread, and ziplocs, but still has trouble getting a knife through bread.  Her processing is much better at big tasks - still easily distracted, but she has a good idea of where she is, and what comes next if she is motivated.  She uses big words like 'vanishing act', and 'horrifying nightmare', seen on Shrek 3 when he is dreaming), asks if I have checked my text messages and expounds on where the living room is in our house (which is atypical) or what today is when you said it yesterday vs tomorrow when you said it today etc... She asks me if the line of water from the top of the windshield means it is cracking or if the antenna is melting because of the ice or if it is the ice melting.  She wonders if things are a boy lunchbox or a girl lunchbox, because boys have this lunchbox and no girls do, and it is not pink.  She pays attention to all sorts of little details I don't realize are important to her until she communicates them - which she does and often...

She reads over my shoulder now, can read most level 1 books and today tried to read the word 'seventeen' as 'Steven', until I covered up the 'teen' and she rethought.  She can grasp the idea of less than zero in subtraction although that makes her little eyebrows wrinkle up and she wonders why... She can compare January to February or March, understanding one is further away than the other,.  She can also read the clock in 'thirty-sevens' and 'twenty-fives' etc... instead of just saying which number the hand is pointing to.  Her sense of tense, pronouns and connecting words is still just a tad bit 'strange' but she has come light years even since leaving her preschool class and sounds fairly normal until she gets into complicated questions or descriptions.  I do know she still 'sees in pictures' especially when remembering... she commented on the antenna on the truck this morning and then got that 'faraway' look saying look its the fat boy he is hitting his head because he was looking at the antenna... I asked her if she was remembering that and she snapped her eyes back to me like 'of course - can't you tell?' but then told me about a boy on the bus who had been trying to look out the window and hit his head on the top of the bus on a bump.  I don't know what that had to do with antennas.. but apparently it did. ;)

I was reading a journal entry from last June, before we went to the zoo, the other day - in my paper journal I write in at work or late at night etc...  and I was remarking on making her dresses for school and how she didn't understand the calendar or read very well.  I read some of her quotes and saw just how far she has progressed in that time.  Her view of the world is so much wider and her questions are so much more complex.  I am proud, and often feel the 'here we go' but by the time I've realized it lately, it seems we're another mile down the road.  And if I had read this, or thought all of this was possible, three years ago I would have been relieved... and when I read this three years from now... how much will have changed?

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