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Renee has now entered into Kindergarten full tilt boogie. She woke up this morning and proceeded to frolic about the house, nekkid, a fountain of giggles! Apparently she and her brother were playing a game whereby they named each other “monkey butt” or “pillow butt” or toothbrush butt”–so I guess the naked bottom was somewhat appropriate. Finally I was able to persuade her to get dressed–as in hollering, “Renee, get dressed now!”–so she yanked her little purple sundress down off its hanger, pulled on socks and underwear (finally!), and then put on her precious pink suede boots. I must add here that she is going to extraordinary lengths to keep these boots clean, at one point even wearing her little pink crocs to the car while cradling her boots in her arms. This, from a girl who can cover herself with dirt as fast as…her brother. And that’s pig-fast!

When we got to school we stopped by Renee’s classroom first, and McKinley leaned against the door frame with a resolute stare while his old Kindergarten teacher—and now Renee’s—practically sang him praises: how nice he looked, how she told his teacher how much she’s going to love having McKinley in her class, what a great and enthusiastic student he was. And McKinley just stares, doesn’t even crack smile. I’ve noticed before that when folks outside the family lavish their attention upon him, he has difficulty accepting it. What is going through that wild mind of his? Sometimes I can only wonder.

On the drive home from school a flock of turkeys—two adults and about twenty young ones—ran out onto the road, and then sprint-waddled along the road, looking over their shoulders (do birds have shoulders?) to see if I was still following them. It wasn’t until another car came in the opposite direction that they scampered into the forest. The morning the air was so crisp—fifty-three degrees—and when I got home I put on a little black jacket and went for my walk. The turkeys were in my across-the-road neighbor’s yard. They all took to the air in a winged burst of bird thunder when they saw my dog Oscar. We walked on. Oscar’s hip has gotten so much better that I have to keep him on a leash again to keep him out of trouble. Yesterday he darted into a neighbor’s yard and started gleefully frisking the bushes for some small panicky mammel..

The morning air was exquisite to breathe. I felt as if I were striding into Joy. Not because my daughter has gone to school, for I shall miss the samplings of her sweetness throughout the morning, but still, this solitude, this time uninterrupted, walking in the sunlit air and then, in my studio, pastel chalk on my fingers, my computer happily whirring her work song—this is good, good, good, and a long time coming!

A pastel that I’ve been working on for ages is almost done, and I have other projects swimming around in my head. I’m clearing out all the negative beliefs and judgments from my studio, from my thinking, and I’m entering now into my bliss full tilt boogie.


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