Before our junkhouse visit, we met for coffee with my sister. Hannah calls this event "going to the coffee shop." And she's more than happy to rub your nose in the fact that she's going and you aren't by saying, "I'm going to the coffee shop with Jan and bam-ma (Grandma) and you don't get to go" to anyone within range.
So adorable!? Makes you just want to reach out and hug her, huh?
We arrive at a coffee shop where Hannah doesn't want anything (except to be included so she can tell people that *they* aren't), my sister and I order coffee. Then after she used my camera to take dozens of photos of random cars and startled customers as they exit the store and parking lot, Hannah decides she would like a "graaah-zond." I have been trying to teach her how to say croissant with a French accent (brushing up for my gynecological oncologist visits), and "graaah-zond" is what Hannah says. I instructed her to say "kwa-sah." It took me awhile to figure out what she was saying.
After we left the coffee shop (neener neener), while driving, Hannah glanced over in a well-known direction for both of us adding, "My dada works over there." I informed her "That's where Chris lives too." She said, "You kicked Chris to the curb?" I said, "No, he kicked me to the curb." Then she asks, "Is that the curb?" pointing to some buildings. I said, "No, that's not the curb." She said "Does Chris sleep on the curb?" I said, "No, Chris doesn't sleep on the curb." Then she started crying about how much she missed Chris and how much she wanted to see him. "I miss Chris. Can we go see him?" She wailed. I reminded her that from the time she was a little baby, each time she saw Chris, she'd let out a blood curdling scream and continue to cry as if she'd seen the dreaded boogie-man, the creepy creature from under the bed, the indescribable horror of a young child's closet, much like your dog might growl and bristle at the only vicious dog-hater in an enormous crowd of people. She never warmed up to him the entire time we were together. Needless to say, Hannah and I didn't stop for a meet and greet.
We made our way over to visit Joanne where Hannah ate what she called "lavan" cake. Then we drove by the Blue Ball park and stopped to visit the balls. I waited twenty minutes at the top of the steep slide until Hannah found enough courage to go down the slide. After an hour at the park, we drove back to my junkhouse where Hannah used her imagination (imagine that!) in playing a game called "I'm going to cook Jan something" on my front patio. This game is also part of the game called "Jan, Come here!" (shouted loudly every 10 seconds). It's a joy watching her explore the fish(less)pond, using the slimy pond water for all the ingredients in her "recipes." She used an old fishnet for a utensil, and some other odds and ends - two large crocks, a license plate from 1956, several old antique bottles, a plastic dish. While used plant pots for cups were given to me with the instructions "Please be careful not to break them." because her "Grandmother had given them to [her] and they were made out of delicate china." Who's been talking to this kid?
It rained all day Sunday. I went to my morning WW meeting where we talked about making your kitchen safe (from food attacking nut-cases), then I drove back home and spent the day in a soggy stupor, reading and staring out the window, occasionally thinking about taking a nap. Midday I took a walk in the rain with my camera, drenching myself while taking over 100 photos. By evening I was so unconscious, mid-soup, I suddenly realized I was not sitting at my kitchen table (nearly spitting out a mouthful of soup back into the bowl) and carried the bowl into the dining room to finish my dinner. I tell ya, I am a hard nut to crack!
I'm going to post reminders as a clue to this effort to become more aware. I have formed habits over decades -- it is going to take time (post-its, an assistant, wake-up calls, media alerts) to become more mindful. If I post a note on the face of the TV, one of them on the chair by my bedside, another on the chair in the living room, (and yet still another on the bathroom mirror, and one inside my car, and one inside the fridge...) those notes will remind me as long as I remember to look for reminders in those places, that I am making this effort. Had I been more conscious at the time, I would have insisted that I take my Hannah-prepared, slimy pond-water meal at the kitchen table too.
I have a small poster that reads "Mindfulness is a Source of Happiness." But I wonder if this can really true having spent much of my life doing everything possible to distract myself and yet, there were times I could swear I was happy.