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The little hours between circle time and home time

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:57pm
I step out from the Observation Room where I've been watching Reuben at play in school, his eyes transfixed on the other children and having a much happier day than yesterday, and stroll through the grand campus at UCLA. The sun is beating down hard, the temperature in the mid 80s and folk are out walking in bright springtime colours after a brisk cold patch over Christmas. Yes, it is January. Callum is nestled in the blue sling and sleeping soundly. I'd been talking to a few of the other mothers whilst in the Observation Room about shared experiences in the early months of diagnosis, between us all, a plethora of medical and development conditions to summount.

There are a couple of hours that sit between mother's circle time at Reuben's school and the closing circle time, time we can use to sit in the Observation Room or be free. It's a 30 minute drive back home from school so it's time I will, in time, make time to decide what to do with the time. Some exercise could best be placed on the agenda and it'll be time to do all of the newborn activities I was never fortunate enough to do when Reuben was born. It makes me think of all the new mothers in hospital being in that same bleak place we once were and how that special time was so crucially snatched away. I am thinking of them now and my heart is going out to them.

What shall I do on such a glorious January morning? The children are now in the playground, basking in play under a canopy of cedar trees which remind me of my old rambling Convent school grounds. There is a little hole in the fence and I shriek to myself in delight at the opportunity to peek in on the world that sits behind the fence like Mary in the realms of the Secret Garden. Where is my little boy? The children now are being heralded into the Magic School Bus, a bright yellow trolley where Reuben has the front seat next to a pretty girl with blonde curly locks. It is an extraordinary experience to watch the bus go by, their little happy faces smiling away, joyful voices, Reuben signing All Done for no apparent reason. It makes me tearful with utter delight. Back in the Observation Room, I watch him do one of his little signing sequences, Airplane-Car-Train-Bus-Boat and I know he signs when he is content, so he is content. The little boy is slowly unravelling from his cocoon and the beautiful butterfly within begins to spread his wings.
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