Today is the second full day that Namine is completely off her pain medication, with no trace of pain — abdominal or otherwise.* As her health has improved, we’ve been able to resume her schooling. She’s very excited to be learning again.

Namine has been doing exceptionally well in school. The only qualms Jessica has is that the 4K program she was in last year taught her how to write her letters and numbers wrong. When you write you should start at the top and pull down, but Namine was taught to go from the bottom to top — this makes it much harder to write letters and numbers in the correct shape. She is learning about patterns and making up song movements. She’s starting to write her own sentences and she’s reading by herself, with a little help with bigger words she can’t pronounce.


When I came home from work yesterday, there were sticky notes everywhere. Jessica explained to me that they had been labeling things.

This week’s theme for Namine’s school is to compare living things with nonliving things. We don’t have pets in the apartment — cats are allowed here, but as I am deathly allergic, that’s not really an option — but Jessica has several plants. Most of them are likely on their deathbed as we near the end of winter, but the cactus has proved especially hardy.

I’d have expected a curriculum geared toward five year olds to stop at the contrast of things which have never been alive, like a rock, with things which are ideally always alive. But it didn’t. The book showed a picture of a bird laying on the ground, dead, from colliding with a window, perhaps. It inquired: is this bird living or nonliving? Namine knew the answer. “The bird is dead,” she said matter-of-factly.

There are things, I’m sure, of which every parent would prefer their child remain ignorant. Death is at the top of that list; for us, dealing with the willful ignorance and bigotry many people hold toward the physically disabled is another. Unfortunately, Namine has already encountered both. (We suspect that Namine has had near-death experiences during surgeries, which would explain her matter-of-fact attitude and understanding towards the death of beloved pets.)

I stayed home to work remotely today because Jessica had a doctor’s appointment. Namine has a tendency to freak out at the doctor — ironically, more so when it’s not her own — so she stayed at home with me. She is a dedicated student most of the time, even when left to her own devices, and she did not disappoint today.

Namine and I on our computers. She had her schoolwork, and I had code to write.
Namine and I on our computers. She had her schoolwork, and I had code to write.

* It’s not quite accurate to say that Namine is free of pain. She has pain every moment of every day, but she simply does not complain or otherwise let us know, unless we ask. Every scar that she has gives her pain, but they are trace amounts, not worthy of mention or complaint.


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