Well, I did it.
I worked 40 hours at a place away from home for the first time in 23 years.
Katie and Jenna both asked me how my first few days went.
I explained it as follows,
"The first day, I felt like I was climbing a ladder for 8 hours. Straight up"
"The second day, I felt like I was climbing a mountain for 8 hours. Places to rest along the way, but still very hard."
"By day 5, I was spending my time mostly on long, gentle inclines. Still up, but not so hard"
None of those descriptions had anything to do with being on my feet so much; but rather how steep the learning curve feels to me to be doing something so very important.
I get Jane and Red off the bus at 7:10.
Down the long hall, past the cafeteria, and elevator.
We say our names, loudly, as we pass the bathrooms--the echo is wonderful! Don't tell the kindergarteners! Down another long hall and into our classroom.
We spend the entire day traversing hallways, bathrooms, elevators, classrooms, music, PE, art, and any therapies she might receive.
I am responsible for general learning, but also responsible for carrying out the directions of her Life Skills teacher and the teacher that will be helping her negotiate her world as young person without sight.
Everything I do with her must mean something.
I feel that weight.
I'm am more that willing to carry it, but it is heavy.
It keeps my mind racing as I lay my head on my pillow at night.
That is new too.
I used to race Eric to dreamland.
It even enters my dreams.
If my bladder wakes me before the alarm does, my brain now wants to be awake too.
Funny how my body is taking the wheel in these early days of learning for me.
Soon, all of us that have Jane's best interests in mind will have a definitive plan of action.
Right now we're finding out what she knows and what she can/can't do.
How can we help her reach out and grasp her wildest dreams?
On the other side of that coin, Jane is finding out about us.
Can she trust us? Does she like us? Does she like school?
Learning, we're all learning.
Down our hall.
Past the bathrooms, "Carla" "Jane" we say, listening again for our echoes.
Past the elevators and cafeteria and down the last long hall.
Out on the sidewalk.
We wait for the bus.
Next time I'll tell you all about her friends---she has many, which delights me to no end!