We have our license!!!!!!!!!

This is the big news….  We have been granted a license — for only three months, until the renewal process begins again, but now we are better prepared for the battle ahead.  We received the license because we were able to gain support from high places; some of the doors we knocked on were opened for us.  We are not alone.  And, most important, we do not have to live in fear that the Government will order removal of the children.  I slept very well last night.  For now we are safe.

It is Friday morning, today a school holiday for EID, then school tomorrow morning, and then ten days of vacation.  It is cold this morning and the children are in dresses, sweaters, and leggings.  Last night we sat up watching movies and celebrating.  The children were more aware of the threats than I knew, as one of the staff had told them some time ago.  So last night we celebrated our win, and our safety.  The celebration is still going on this morning, as we slept in late. My older daughter happened to call from the US, and all the girls got to talk to their "Didi."  Classes here will start at 9:30 this morning. (The vacation is only from  their outside school.  We rarely cancel our classes.)  They will have their usual three hours of Bengali, math, and history, then lunch, then two hours of English, and then another two hours of Bengali reading.  In the evening they will have dance.  They will not have homework because of dance class.  There is no time to do it.  But this is their complaint, as the LOVE homework, and ask for it each evening.  Some of our massis have good education, and they help the kids.  I think they really enjoy that.

As for me, I have a big day planned — things that have fallen behind because of the consuming aspect of the fight for a license.

1. I want to hire a full time physiotherapist — I have to start the process.

2. We need speech therapy for two of the children.  I have to start that search too.

3. I have to get air tickets to Chennai as I’m going to an ASHA Trust conference in January for two days.  I’m very excited about this as I’ve worked with ASHA since 2002, and it remains an exciting organization dedicated to education in India.  I’ve tried online but the sites keep timing out.

4. SHOPPING — I love to shop.  That’s a confession. Well, actually it’s the daydreaming I do when shopping more than anything I buy. My list for today: socks/slippers for the kids for use in the house; an exercise DVD for me to do with the kids;  (The little ones especially will have a good laugh watching me.) slippers for me; 2 new bookbags as two need repair; a new hairclip because the one I wear all the time just broke; a CD newly released, Christmas in Kolkata — done with Indian instruments; and then, Christmas presents.  Christmas is secular as well as religious here.  Yesterday we were invited to a Christmas party at Imrose’s school and the kids had a great time. They were on the shy side, and incredibly well-behaved.  Anyway, I’ve decided to give each girl a book of her own.  They will love this, as they are forever taking books and putting them in their lockers, or hiding them under mattresses.  That’s where I look when I can’t find a book….  So, this will be nice.

It is 9 am now.  The Special Ed teacher has arrived to start classes with the four little ones.  They have four hours in the morning with this teacher, and then four in the evening with a mother of a CP child, who also teaches them, and works with them, and sings to them. 

The big girls are still watching the DVD, Sound of Music.  I bought it for them when they started learning scales in singing class.  But of course it has special meaning to me, as I lived with the fear of losing the children, and ongoing fantasies as to how we could run, hide, escape those who threatened to put them back into institutions.  The misuse of power knows no national borders.  But then, that is also true of those who protect.

We have our license!  I am smiling.  I am very very smiling.

p.s. a haiku I wrote some years ago:

To defeat evil,

Pretend it is not there,

Act because it is.

I am very very smiling…….

December 2007
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