A Small Announcement

Hey. Hi there. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Things still suck *waving hands* and we are in the middle of a wave of Omicron covid—which for our family means a hard lockdown again. We’re vaccinated, but I know enough folks who are who have had this, that we don’t really want to risk even a “mild” case where “mild means being sick for a week and possibly having long-term effects—especially given the multiple disabilities in our home. As always I acknowledge our privilege in being able to keep ourselves safe, and I wish my country was doing better in making things safe for everyone. So many things I wish right now…

But this is a post about some sunlight and accomplishment, even amid some pretty thick clouds. First and foremost, documenting for my posterity: I graduated from law school. My last final was in December but I was on tenterhooks until grades posted. It was a hell of a week for me—grades were four (interminable) days late, I was waiting on biopsy results (all clear), and my anxiety meds were lost in transit due to a wild winter storm. I was a lot of fun for those four days, my family will verify. It was a ride.

I did it. Not only did I complete my coursework, but I graduated in the top-ten of my class, and with the best grades I have ever earned. The circumstances for so much of this experience were more difficult than I could have imagined, but it’s done. And do you know what? I’m proud of myself. There were a lot of days I wanted to quit, where it all felt too hard, and I wondered why I picked law instead of something less…demanding and exacting. But I kept thinking of Shel Silverstein’s Melinda Mae and her whale. One tiny bit at a time. And if you just keep going, there you are.

I plan to walk with my cohort in May. Those friends and I have been through it.

I am eyeball deep in studying for the bar exam now. Each day Barbri yells at me to study more, and keeping that little green tracker in the green is shockingly motivating to my annoying-ass type-A anxiety. I have 39 days to go, and I am about 1/3 of the way through the program. There isn’t really a way to convey the volume of things we are supposed to know—it’s another whale, only I have far less time to eat that sucker. Bottoms up, here we go.

Around the house, we are mostly ok-ish. The kids have stepped up and stepped in to take on things while I am swallowed whole by study. If they were younger I would feel guilty, but given that they are now 20, 18 and almost 16, I feel like this is solid practice for living skills. I pay Jeffrey to tutor Bean and Abby in math and computer science, and we’re unschooling on history and English. They’re all bright and creative, and the reports they give me on what they’ve learned are both amusing and incredibly interesting. Meanwhile, Kelsey is halfway through her first semester of college in far-away Utah. Somehow she’s managed to dodge and weave her way to avoiding getting sick and is doing a good job at transitioning to full adulting. I really hope later this spring we can all figure out whatever the new normal is going to be.

Tiberius is turning into a grumpy old man, and Dingus is smarter than all the four-legged and manages to coax the old man into occasional play. We’ve become one of those houses with throw rugs everywhere to keep our senior dog from slipping, and it’s all perfectly fine. He deserves to be a king for however long he’s with us—which we fervently hope is a long time yet.

Jon and I have continued to work from home, though my own work is on hold while I study for the bar. I don’t have a guaranteed position lined up yet but I do have several options presented to me that I am considering. I’ll worry about which is right and what I want to do after the bar exam.

I’m going to avoid the things that are making me a rage-monster right now, but the short list is the erosion of the rule of law in my country, the failure and slow-motion collapse of the public education system (not the teachers faults!), the systemic failure of caring for each other, and don’t even get me started on disability law and advocacy. I promise I will return.

In the meantime, it’s Friday night, and I’m going to go make dinner—cooking during quarantine and law school has become even more of a balm for me, and I have really gotten better and perfected some things I long wanted to learn. I am so happy in the kitchen—even though my cupboard space is so tiny my spices fall on my head when I open them.

I can hear Bean gleefully cackling downstairs while he tells his siblings a Chinese folktale he learned, and Jon is waiting patiently for me to wrap up my week so we can watch PBS cooking shows.

This is where we are today.

I hope you and yours are as well as can be, given *waves hand again* …all this.

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