The law school is done. I feel taller already. I’m told bar review is worse, but we’ll see when we get there. The funny thing is grades aren’t due for a couple weeks after graduation. The man did his pre-finals “I’m so getting an F” schtick, but that would be highly improbable given how often he says that and how often he has not, in fact, failed. But this circumstance about the grades made me think about how whoever is valedictorian, they have to go off what grades they had at the start of this term, which is sort of interesting in the grander scheme, vision and follow through and all that. But instead it took me back to that first “welcome to law school” speech we were invited to. And the inevitable speeches that are to occur. How they try and expand recognition beyond papers, tests, and GPA. If they gave an award for spending too much time at your day (actually, night) job, he’d get points. For learning a new language on the job. For going through diagnosis of two children with developmental disorders. For celebrating your 20th wedding anniversary… and then having a baby. For spending spring break in the NICU. For surviving a teen learning to drive. For thanking heaven while also being concerned that they aren’t dating. For having your kids actually say they wish they could spend more time with you. Of course the reward for living your life is the life you have. I can’t say I’m too surprised to be where we find ourselves. I sometimes play a game where I imagine past me is dropped into present me’s life, becoming a forgotten dream that later manifests as deja vu. I suppose I would be most surprised that the living room is pink. I don’t even know if I’d notice that I’ve lost 50 lbs, just sitting here. I haven’t really embraced the “law school widow” term. It seems really insensitive to actual widows and other single mothers. But I have done a lot of things alone. Parent teacher conferences, visits to the assistant principal’s office, lessons, tutoring, all but a couple of doctor’s visits, driving across the country (I recruited family, but still not with the man), closing up the house for trips (work flew him, it wasn’t law school), taxes, Russian estate taxes (his responsibility but I’m the tax gal), lunches, changing diapers. No wonder my hair was falling out. It’s amazing I’ve actually been pretty healthy through all this. In third world countries you have to walk two miles each way just to get water for the household. Besides the fact that we plug in a treadmill to work off our twinkies, it provides an interesting perspective on human society. What do they do when they’ve just had a baby, or what have you? Someone helps them. They are part of a community just as much as they are an individual. Maybe this strikes me as odd because of my mild autism. But I do feel like western culture is so insular. Our art decries it on the one hand while writhing against “small town life” on the other. I have had very good visiting teachers, and our home teachers do ask about us all the time even though we’re a pain to get together with. There are people I saw at church frequently, when I was a den leader and later in nursery. I see my sister in law most weeks since she tutors one of the kids. I guess my day to day connections are with sparkpeople and people I met on Hatrack. As Pipo once asked Novinha, “all humans identify with some community.” Or words to that effect. I guess I am trying to say thank you to everyone who has helped us survive the last three years, supporting me or the man or the kids. Even if it wasn’t periodic or what I have listed, it was appreciated.