nutritive matter

So, I went to the post office when Rainbow yesterday, as part of our frequent wagon ride/get a cookie at the coffee shop/check the mail/climb on the caboose loop. There is a free book bin that I let him poke around in, mostly so he will leave the shelved library books alone.

He pulled out this manilla envelope that I immediately recognized as a school report card and started running around with it like it was a piece of really great loot. I wrestled gently took it from him and told him it was not a book; it was something important that someone would want back.

As I pulled it from him, this fell out.

I was all, Huh, an angel…? I replaced it and peeked inside the envelope. The report card was for the 2008-2009 school year. I sort of figured no one would want it any more, but I put it up on the shelf of library books just in case.

We went and played on the caboose for a while, and I thought about the little metal angel charm. I thought about putting it in a collage painting. I wondered about the report card and what I would find in it.

I wanted it.

Feeling more than a little weird, I slipped back into the post office. I told Bonnie, the postal worker, that I was just curious about the report card. I looked closer and saw it was from Waco, Texas. I read the name out to her, and she said she didn’t know anyone by that name around here. I took it.

Turns out it’s a report card for a little boy in Catholic school. Oddly, I can’t find his grade on it, but the school was for grades K-8, and it included an graduation angel pin and a little photo. (The angel had broken off of the pin, so it was just a flat angel shape.) Based on the subjects he’s graded on, it looks like he had finished kindergarten. The boy has some learning delays, it seems; his report card has not-so-many S’s for Satisfactory, and then a split between I’s for Improving and N’s for Needs Improving. There was also an appointment sheet for speech therapy at a university. I half-heartedly googled his name, but I guess Texas is a big place, and I’m not going to get all stalkery about a little boy.

I wondered what to make of it. It’s just a random report card, after all.

But you can make of it what you want to. You can let it mean whatever you want it to mean. You SHOULD.

So, okay.

I will.

Does it mean that I’ve graduated from grieving? Can one even graduate? I certainly feel better than I did five years ago. I feel very sure that Ward is happy and bathed in love and joy. I feel very, very blessed with my family and my faith. Yes, I’m prone to outbursts of laughable dumb-assedness and flagrant bitchiness and sleepless, neurotic fretfulness. But whatever. I’m human. I’m mostly nice, most days.

Or does it mean that Wardie has graduated? Is he thrilled that something new is going on for him? Is he one step closer to that gleaming source? Or is he being held in some lucky mama’s arms right now, milky-sweet and blinking at this shiny bright world?

I like to think of my faith like a dense cloud around me, not sharply focused on one particular direction. Just padding me with gentleness when I need it, insulating me with warmth, giving flashes of inspiration at times.

Or maybe it’s an amorphous blob, squishing around and absorbing the nuggets that suit its specialized needs when it comes upon them, and leaving the non-nutritive matter behind.

The teacher’s parting notes:

Way to go! I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work and improvements!

I’ll miss you this summer but I’ll see you next year. Practice and review what we’ve learned this year. You’ve come out of your shyness and talk quite a bit (speech is showing improvement – keep it up!)

Always keep GOD in your heart and be the best that YOU can be!!!

I love you!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meghan Cobble
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 12:23:03


    I draw such strength from God’s trinkets hidden and waiting, at just the exact moment, to find.

    His timing so amazing; his teachings so humble.

    I love this story.

    I love your honesty and your strength.

    And mostly, I love that I see you smiling and happy. { Those times that I see you 🙂 }

    .mac 🙂

  2. Mama Jamz
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 23:09:17

    Love you, Mac, and I totally agree. So many sweet hidden treasures; makes me wonder how many I miss, you know? So wonderful.

    Hope to see you and your guys soon. I know (from my mom and your dad) that it’s a crazy busy time for you all. Good luck with everything.

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