*Amendment to this post: Today’s Moment’s of Happiness Despite the News has been taken down but will be available in September of 2018 in book form! The below unaltered text is a peek at what you’ll find in the upcoming book.

Today’s moment of happiness despite the news.

Actually, today’s moment of happiness also led to my largest moment of agitation since this past Monday.

I had to go bow-shopping. Not bows for hair or bow-ties, but bow as in for a violin. I didn’t know that bows had to be replaced; I guess I never really thought about it. But it was bow-time.

Olivia and I went to the White House of Music. We were turned over to their “bow-man” and led to a quiet room filled with lovely violins, violas, cellos and basses, just off the sales floor. There was a place for me to sit, a chair on a small carpet atop a gleaming hardwood floor. It was like a teeny recital hall.

Our bow-man told me that bows are priced anywhere from $150 to $700, and I nearly fell out of the chair. If you remember, Michael just lost his job this last Monday.

But I moved ahead.

When he handed her the first bow to try, Olivia quickly went through the scales. Then she began to play. It’s a piece she’s working on for the solo/ensemble competition coming up. I was watching the bow-man, who was pulling out other bows and lining them up. About five seconds into Olivia’s song, I saw his eyebrows go up. He turned and listened to Olivia. And then he sat down.

Outside the little recital area, through the glass doors, I saw the people behind the sales counter stop and turn. I saw customers stop shopping and lift their heads. One woman stood with her eyes closed, hands clasped.

And then I tumbled into the music too. Olivia and that violin – they SING.

This is the girl I was once told would always look at me like I was a wooden log. And this is the girl who, even as I was told this, took a moment every few seconds to touch my shoe, my knee, my arm, to look up into my face.

Are you there, Mama?

I am always here.

On this day, in this moment of happiness, she stopped the world. She owned it.

When we moved on, when she spoke to the bow-man, discussing how the different bows felt, I doubt he ever once thought she was autistic. He saw her as she is. An incredible young woman. My little girl.

He told me how much the favored bow was. I hesitated. But then I bought it. Despite Monday. Anyway.

Goddammit, I will not cut corners with this child. I will not. I had to with the first three, which I will regret for the rest of my life, and she is my last chance to get this right.

Are you there, Mama?

I am always here.

Michael will get the job when he interviews on Tuesday. He will. I will not let it go any other way.

I love this girl more than I can ever say.

And yes, this helps. Despite. Anyway.

Olivia with her violin. Photo by Ron Wimmer of Wimmer Photography
Olivia with her violin. Photo by Ron Wimmer of Wimmer Photography

Leave a Reply