What I wanted to do today: Sleep until 7am, sit in front of the TV and watch and remember. Ignore everything else. Cry. Pray. Eat cookie dough ice cream. Feel melancholy.
What I actually did today: Got up at 4:45am because V wouldn't go back to sleep. Made V eggs for breakfast and ate Raisin Bran myself. Sent R off to work. Got V dressed in boy's gray sweatpants and a pretty shirt, robin's egg blue. Took her to a local arts center for her first pre-ballet class. She was so excited and can't wait to get her "ballet outfit." She was the only one without leotards, tights, and shoes, and I'm sure it didn't help her focus. She was all over the place. There's a staircase leading to the room and I sat there for a few minutes and watched, but then I realized she really didn't need me there. So I moved down the stairs and sat there within earshot so I'd know if they needed me. They didn't. Though V wasn't the only one she corrected, I heard her teacher say things like, "V ... V ... V, are we supposed to sit in the center of the circle? Nooooo. We're supposed to sit on our rug." And, "V, if you are talking to E, then you and E can't hear me when I'm speaking."
After class, I let V play with the toys they had in the lobby for a little while. Then she saw the guitar - like white on rice, she was. The only way I got her out of there was to tell her we were going to Target to get her ballet outfit.
When we got there, the leotards and tights were all too big, but she got ballet slippers and that was enough to make her happy. She wore them around the store still fastened to each other, her feet pressed together tight. On the way home, she started crying because she wanted me to buy her a guitar. I told her maybe later, but not today. When we got home, she started crying to go back to ballet class. I told her it is over for this week, but that we'll go back next week. And the next. And the next. And the one after that. She was very tired from waking up at 4:45.
We napped. For three hours. It was bliss, but I woke feeling groggy. And down. It is impossible for me to get through this day every year and not feel like something's missing. Like people are missing even though I did not personally know a one of them. We colored with markers. V colored all over her robin's egg blue shirt. I let her do it; I admired her work. They are washable markers. We watched TV. Yo Gabba Gabba. The episode titled "Love." R was home by then. I made dinner. V got ready for bed. She's asleep now and I've been working. I haven't watched the news all day. Yet I remember. How could I forget?
What I am most thankful for today is my family. For opportunity. For freedom. For love. For a pretty robin's egg blue 1/4 size guitar that will come in the mail for my girl next week. For one last precious year of not having to tell my daughter that everything is not right in the world.