Exhausted ( 2020)
The past 2 weeks have been a kind of intense I have not experienced in a long time. Yes, my son’s health has been up and down since the Fall ( and past 3 years!) and that’s been really hard BUT I feel like I have been dragged through the mud and as most of you know, writing is a way I connect and heal and process, so here goes.
Let me fill you in.
My daughter ( who is dyslexic) started a new school mid- year last year. It was clear that our neighborhood middle school was not going to be the best fit for her, and we had struggled for so many years to keep her at the elementary school with tutors and therapists, etc. So after we moved her, a friend told us about a lawyer who could help us get reimbursement from DCPS for the placement.
A year ago, right before Covid, I went to Capital Hill with a HUGE notebook of 5.5 years of emails and IEPS and documents and presented them to the attorney who specializes in kiddos with disabilities and dropped off what would become our evidence for the case.
Then we just waited. Waiting for calls and check ins, meeting after meeting… All to be dealt with “ in the future” and with Covid, on zoom.
Well, that future arrived last week as we all began to prep for the case. My exquisite daughter, staying “ on brand”, declared she was testifying at her own case which is highly unusual. Some of you know we do some advocacy for our local Decoding Dyslexia chapter and that she has been an advocate for other students in our the public schools over the past year or so, testifying to DC City Council and Education on education and funding. So, she’s determined to speak for herself and her learning.
So last week we prepped. We reviewed documents. Then we testified. We listened. We listened. We listened.
4 days of hearings recapping years and years of various points of view about who did what right and wrong, up and down and all round regarding the 5.5. years we had her in public school. We are still not quite done but I’m exhausted… Mentally, physically, emotionally just feeling the re- traumatization of what it took to help her navigate her learning needs in our schools.
Ya’ll it was a lot.
And so now, today feeling emotionally hungover AND strong and clear and joyful and sad, I just name into our circle the things I did to strengthen my connection to source and my own tender heart during this time ( maybe you are having a tough time? or someone you know?) And the ways in which I know I needed to unhook from the stress cycle, recharge, discharge, and re align, each day.
I danced every day. I drank water. I took walks every morning before the zoom room opened, I wore my favorite sweats. I took off all non essential appointments on my calendar, I said “ YES!” when my friend texted, “ Want me to come over?” I cried. I told the truth for how I was feeling. I journaled sometimes. I went in the woods, I touched the trees. I read at night before bed about soul and spirit. I went to bed super early. I sat in silence. I ate cookies. I asked for help on Facebook using songs for healing and dancing and love. I asked for support help from other family members, on purpose. I went slow when I could. I curled up under a blanket and turned my camera off during the hearing. I read Rumi. I dreamed and created for the future. I snuggled my daughter and rubbed her back for a long time.
I felt my life.
The wholeness of it.
The paradox of feeling shitty and feeling AWE-some all at once.
And now Spring is coming. I can feel her in the morning light and in the tears that are shed every year at this time while the season changes, and the winter starts to thaw through us. I know it’s good medicine for the earth for life, death and rebirth. I know we are all okay. I know we are surrounded by love and support of our communities and our ancestors, when we lean back and RECEIVE.
Turning towards our gatherings in the next few weeks, I ‘m so giddy about all the good, deep, rich stuff we’ll be exploring together.. death, money, AYURVEDA & the mind.. yum yum.
And now, rest.
What an auspicious time the next few days are: Full Moon Rising, Purim, Shabbat and more subtle shifts to Spring!
I hope you get some time to dance and pray and cry and laugh and BE IN YOUR LIFE.