Sunday, 4 January 2009
The eleventh day of Christmas (drugging myself with Who news and new Whos)
There are advantages being over a certain age. I discovered that, since coming to Hades, that I can cry in public. And no one notices. So there I am sitting in Planet Coffee which is a really wonderful little coffee shop squirreled away in the Bytown Market, sorting through the thick grey sheets of younger daughter's extensive assessment report resulting from those tests back in November, y'know, when the Resident Fan Boy was knocked down and out? I had saved this for the end of Christmas, we had the feedback session in late November, so I pretty well knew what to expect, so I'm not crying from shock, it was (oh, how do I explain this?) the combination of grief over what ground appears to have been lost over younger daughter's four years of so-called integration into her local school, the consideration of how far she has come when you don't compare her to other children, but only to herself, and gratitude for the fact that somehow between the clinical terms and percentiles, this psychologist's compassion and caring still comes through. When I read an assessment report, which is never fun (unless you have a gifted child -- which I do, and even then it's a guilty pleasure, because you can't take credit for it), I look to see if I can recognise younger daughter amidst the jargon. I can, and I weep. For the compassion, for the tough road ahead, for how I've failed her. No one, as I say, notices.
It was a mixed morning. Elder daughter and I left younger daughter bellowing with excitement as she slid down the steep hill at McDonald Gardens Park, and I listened as elder daughter regaled me with the antics of "vloggers" (video loggers at YouTube) into town. Her clarinet teacher did not come down from his rather posh apartment to collect her at the lobby; he's a rather scattered young university student, so I sought out a payphone and left a rather curt message on his voice mail, informing him we'd been waiting 15 minutes after a 45-minute walk into town due to the bus strike and would wait another five before hiking back. He showed up a few minutes later and told us there would be no charge. Elder daughter informed me I'd scared him, when she joined me at the coffee shop an hour and a half later and my tears had long been safely put away. I thought I'd been firm and certainly not abusive, but I guess I'm a dragon lady after all. I heard all about Twilight on the way home; she thinks the movie is cheesy but Robert Pattinson is hot.
Matt Smith (the new Doctor on Doctor Who after David Tennant's imminent and lamented departure) is not what I'd call hot (not that I use that terminology) but he looks "interesting" if way too young. Elder daughter is miffed when I pretend to check his neck for bolts. I'm sure he'll be fine; there's always Steven Moffat's writing for consolation. Just as I'm taking this ridiculous kerfuffle as consolation now.
This morning, I told younger daughter that school starts again tomorrow. She began to weep quietly, while I told her how brave she was, and that I would do everything I could to help. Then I went into the bathroom and had a little weep myself. When I came out, elder daughter was curled up in her bed, looking at me quietly. The heating vent from the bathroom opens out into her room.