I remember the excitement of watching my friend’s older sister get ready for prom, at age 14, anticipating my own prom someday. This memory is much sharper and perhaps happier than the memories, few as they are, of the two proms I attended. We often live in anticipation and anticipation feeds joy. This winter, I’ve been carefully balanced on a wave of anticipation, rising and falling as it will. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Josh’s verbal communications. I expected them to arrive much more quickly and if I allow myself, I spiral down in disappointment the further out we get from the time that I “decided” he should be speaking. There are small signs of hope. He now consistently asks to go down to play in the basement, saying “dowww” (down) by the closed door. This simple word exhibits his first real understanding of the power that spoken language contains with his family members. I hope and pray for more language. I try to resist setting more arbitrary deadlines on Joshua’s speech. I try to repeat the line of a “Signing Time” song that says, “Joshua will do what Joshua will do when Joshua is ready to do it.”
And I await with eager anticipation Hannah’s college acceptance letters, perhaps more eagerly than Hannah does. I am just so anxious to know what her path will be next year. I do have to remind myself, however, that it is her path, not mine and her path to choose. I suspect that I won’t know what that path is until late April, after all of the financial awards are returned. Most colleges have a May 1st deadline and I expect that is when I’ll officially know. So really, I should just cool my jets until then but, as with my own prom, I think I must sort of enjoy this anticipation.
Winter began so early this year, with a generous snow pack on the ground beginning in early November. It has been so long since I’ve experienced such an early start to winter. It caught me by surprise and continues to keep me feeling a bit off balance. I am anxiously awaiting the spring this year. Any signs, from running water to returning birds, or even just a glimpse of brown grass under the snow, will be welcomed by me with joy. I cannot wait for the day when Josh and I can return to the park and the outdoor portion of the zoo. He is so much more aware of his surroundings than he was late last October. It will be exciting to show him the world outside, when the temperature allows.
Below is a picture of some of the CDs getting me through this winter of anticipation. I especially love Frazey Ford’s Obediah. It is simply a delightful album from start to finish. Oh, I give thanks for music. It is my balm and has brought me through so many rough patches in this life. It carries all of my good memories across the threshold of my foggy mind as well. It is good to remember, as well as to anticipate memories still to be made.