I needed a little extra support this week, and thankfully, my friends have surrounded me. I saw one for dinner (along with her family) and two others I met for "Mom's Night Out" during the week. The conversation and companionship were comforting.
I finally sat Ger down as well, as we have been disconnected between him traveling for work, and then needing to work late several nights, so that time was very necessary as well. I told him I felt like we have been on different pages, and we may continue to be in different stages of grief, but that we at least needed to understand where the other was at.
On Thursday, I had a meeting with a rather large group of women, eight of them all gathered in one conference room together, with me on the phone. One of them chose that moment to announce to her co-workers that she was pregnant and there was an immediate outpouring of congratulations. I recoiled so badly that I almost hung up, figuring I could blame a bad phone or internet connection. But I knew I was more professional than that and gritted my teeth. It was a good thing they couldn't see me.
Friday was my first parent-teacher conference with Theo's teacher. I thought back to one of my first interactions with her... telling her that our baby had died.
She had nothing but glowing things to say about him. He had mastered all of the expected school behaviors of following directions, focus, and being nice to others, along with achieving everything expected academically. She said that he is a unique "out-of-the-box" thinker, and gave an example: the class was giving examples of different types of fruits, and three kids in a row had said "strawberry" and then she got to Theo and he said "coconut!"
She asked if we did a lot of "experiences" with him. I didn't quite understand what she was getting at, until she gave an example of a book that they read where a girl was talking with her hands and Theo immediately pointed out that she was using sign language. That made me feel good – that we do try to expose him to many different things: museums, people, lifestyles, and maybe some of that worldliness is trickling into school. Proud mama.
She gave me a handout of ways to incorporate reading into our home, that she gives to all parents, and I thanked her but was thinking, "Yeah, not an issue for us." Out loud, I quoted to her: "Good readers are made on the laps of parents."
In my own reading life, I have fallen woefully behind on my reading goal for the year. Since I started tracking reading goals on Goodreads, I have never not met my goal. But that means I have 18 books to read in the next 7 weeks. I read two last week, finding that on a low-key weekend, I could easily read one book over the course of the two days.
You would think that I could give myself a break, but that's not my personality. I started to read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman but found that I immediately had a negative reaction. Even the somewhat quirky side of morbidity and death was too much for me right now. I'll need to focus on lighter reads to meet my goal.