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This is another week of firsts.  This is the first week of summer vacation.  Ruby and I have had a bit of a struggle, trying to make spending time together fun and still get things done like laundry and shopping.  I am re-learning to be more “in the moment” with her, to slow down.  We went to Walker Park yesterday and spent the majority of the time searching out baby crabs.  She found one.  We scooped it up, its tiny red-shelled body walking sideways across our hands.  I admonished her to be gentle and she was.  For her patience, she also discovered itty bitty snail shells, no more than 1/16″ of an inch long.  I had no idea they made them that size!  Amazing.

This is also the week when I have dedicated time to work on the shelter project.  I went to the city today and did some work there.  I have a meeting in a little while.  I have the omnipresent notebook to continue reviewing. And tomorrow, another meeting. But, wonder of wonders, I have a reliable sitter so I can take concentrated time to work and not have it squeezed in wherever I can.  Though that could still happen, I reckon, based on crises as they arise.

Zac is still in Washington, D.C.  I get the occasional text from him, letting me know he’s still alive. We miss him.  Ruby cleaned his room for him yesterday to surprise him.

“I want him to run and hug me when he sees it!” she exclaimed.

Um.

I tried to explain that cleaning Zac’s room – which for her consisted of picking up the floor and organizing his books – wouldn’t particularly bless him. Heck, most likely he wouldn’t even notice.

“He’d probably like it better if you drew him a special picture or made him a treat,” I suggested.

Nope.  This is what she wanted to do.  Never mind how Zac wants to be loved!  Her own room looks like a construction-paper bomb went off, but Zac’s floor you could eat off.  Not that I’d suggest it.  The carpet is a thousand years old and he used to have a guinea pig.  You dig?

Ruby and I got into an argument yesterday.  Not like this, but close.  We all kept our pjs on.

She insisted she spent the allowance I gave her 3 days ago 10 days ago.  We couldn’t seem to get past the disconnect of time and money being in different places.  I proposed that she lost it somewhere in the morass of her bedroom. We got heated, each convinced *we* were right. We discussed eradicating allowance altogether.  Not popular. Finally, I stopped talking.  I unloaded the dishwasher.  She cut up a paper bag, sitting on the floor next to me.  All of a sudden, she was hugging me.  Kinda diffused my frustration.  It brought me back to what was most important, again:  spending time together.  I apologized and so did she.  We put on a movie and snuggled.

I want to get the most out of this summer.  I need to downshift, which means “grace, grace, and more grace”.  It may take a little bit to get into this new groove, but we will get there, and have fun doing it.  Who knows?  She may even find the $5 when she cleans her room again.  Hellooo, involuntary savings plan!

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