Abi of Creating Paper Dreams invites blog friends to sit and chat over a beverage once a month, and I'd love it if you'd join me for a cup of coffee. We could sit down and I'd tell you that I had a busy long weekend. On Saturday I ran with Clara and then spent time going through volunteer orientation at the animal shelter with her. Yesterday, I spent the day creating my very first digital photo book with my vacation pictures from Ireland and today it's been all about getting ready for my upcoming trip to Southern California to visit family and run the half-marathon for which we have been training since February!
I'd confess that I wish I could clone myself this week because, while I'm in So. Cal., Henry will be receiving a scholarship on Thursday night at "Local Scholarship Night" and will be going off to his senior prom on Saturday. Sadly, I'll be missing both.
If you were to ask me how I'm feeling these days, I would probably open up and tell you that I'm feeling optimistic. And that scares me. A lot.
It's been such a long hard year, and though I've been hoping for the best, I haven't allowed myself to exhale and really believe that everything will be okay. Partly with Paul's illness, although I think I've made me peace with that because he is still in remission and the doctors feel very good about his progress.
But more so with Clara. She's had such a tough, tough year, and there were times when I was not sure we were going to make it through.
But right now, at this moment, she seems to be doing really well.
She worked so hard the last few weeks of school to pass everything. She started lap-swimming every morning before school because she said it woke her up, got her to school on time and helped her concentrate. She says that Team in Training has made her a better person because she's been around good people and feels like she's making a difference. And now, she's beginning a summer of volunteering at the animal shelter and (hopefully) being an aide at swim lessons. She's making better choices about who to hang out with and what to do with them. She's so much more thoughtful and grateful and pleasant to be around. I hope that my little girl has turned a corner and is becoming the person we both want her to be.
Paul tells me not to get too excited or expect too much because there's still a long way to go before she finishes growing up. And that there will undoubtedly be more bumps in the road. And part of me knows he's right. I shouldn't get my hopes up too high. Because it's so disappointing when things don't work out.
I'd sigh, and take a sip of coffee and ask you if you ever felt this way. Afraid to be optimistic and hopeful about the future because you've weathered such hard times in the past.
And then I'd sit, quietly, and listen to your reply.