Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If you think the last post was over the top; this one is outrageous!

I'm desperately in need of an emergency intravenous injection of humility! It may be too late -- but I pray not. I haven't felt this sought-after and important since being invited as the object of "Show and Tell" in my 9 year-old granddaughter's fifth grade classroom last year. She presented me before her peers, her park ranger grandmother, with all of the pride one little girl can muster. Wait 'til my kids and grandkids run into this one from the highway!

Today came the announcement in a quickie phone call on my cell from the organizer of Senior Day. I was sitting with an adviser at my local bank when it came. "Ms. Soskin, we would like permission to use your image on two billboards and some bus shelters." Crazy! I'm about to be immortalized in full uniform to advertise the upcoming Senior Month celebration being held mid-May at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland's city hall. I'm the keynoter -- but of course that much I was prepared for. I'm scheduled to give a brief ten minute talk (about the upper limit before sheer panic sets in). This is the sixth annual, I believe, and is expected to "draw thousands."

There will be tabling by businesses, nonprofits, service providers. There will be stiltwalkers, line dancers, poets, and music. And there will be me; hat 'n all, and I haven't the foggiest notion of what I'll say ... but that will come ... some night just before sleep... .

It always does.

Meanwhile, maybe I need to spend more time with Dorian. Doing so tends to reduce the ego blast by reminding me always of how much she does with such limited capacity. And of the importance of holding onto perspective when life appears to be spinning out of balance. The pendulum will swing back -- and if I'm lucky -- some of the stardust will settle into the cramped and troubled spaces we share as I grow older and she remains ever the child. This is the cruelty of mental retardation -- that one can never be certain the carefully-taught lessons stay learned.

I think that she's experiencing some regression and losing the carefully-nurtured sense of independence we're worked so hard to achieve over all these years.

This is troubling...

Maybe the ego boost is needed just about now, in order to help me to get through this bumpy period while we try to strengthen her trust in a world that was simply not designed for her to navigate except precariously.

Photo: Appeared July 30, 2007, in the Oakland Tribune. They eliminated the busy background and spread it across 4 columns. It is this image that will be used on the billboards -- if the paper grants permission to the City of Oakland.

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