Monday May 23, 2011

The pressure seems to be mounting as the school year and the 42 days of healing come to a close - pretty much at the exact same time.  Sandwiched in the middle of these next two weeks is a really big, busy Memorial weekend where there will be many family and friends gathering in Rochester.

I am up early Monday morning because I can feel it.  I am trying to be cool about it because the kids key off my moods and attitude.  Like most moms, Jen is our steady family leader; careful, cautious, organized as she hustles around Sunday nights packing lunches and backpacks, folding laundry, making sure we are good to go each and every Monday morning.  I don't know about all dads, but in our house I am the emotional straw that stirs the drink.  For better or for worse.

Typically, my Sunday nights and Mondays are spent organizing and attacking my work week.  So that routine has always been pretty healthy around here.  I manage me, Jen manages everyone else.  (Come to think of it, moms are way underrated).  Like most kids, Shannon and Erin thrive on that routine, predictability and consistency.  All of which has been blown out of the water over the last month.

So we tried to restore some of that as we met Sunday night as a family to talk about some goals and expectations for the upcoming week.  Another "new normal" activity that we are trying out.  Staying focused on the final few weeks of school is high on the list of goals.  Down the stretch they come...

Jen and I both struggled with our emotions Sunday at Erin's spring piano recital as she played a duet with her teacher Ms. Glenna - they teamed to perform Randy Newman's "You've got a friend in me".  The duet was supposed to be Shannon and Erin playing this song together.  But when the tumor was discovered Shannon decided to let piano lessons go.  Erin later revealed to us that she felt Shannon's piano skills were diminishing as they practiced this piece together.  We now know why.  Erin did great in the recital.  She is about as cute as a 10-year old can get.

Ms. Glenna honored one of her 12-year students at the recital.  A brilliant kid who will go to Cal to study computer science and music.  We're watching him perform this amazing original piece and thinking...

Those milestone events are just so hard for us now.  And with graduation and wedding season upon us we need to figure out a way to enjoy and celebrate these milestones as here-and-now events without reflecting.

On Thursday, Dr. Laack was talking to Shannon about recognizing her limitations and not pushing it too hard to get through finals.  There are laws on the books to protect kids like Shannon and to allow her to complete finals whenever she can.  Shannon, of course, is most determined to finish the school year with every other 7th grader...taking finals...walking out of school June 9 with hands high in the air!

Dr. Laack realized she was talking to a brick wall conceded "Shannon if anyone can do it it will be you".  So we're going with that.  Let's go get em' girls!