This, my friends, is a reminder that JR leads a "normal" life outside the confinements of my bed and couch. Although I worry to death about how my bed rest is affecting her, and I am sure it is, knowing that she still "rings" gifts me a sense of relief and a smile.
Every child has a tradition, a favorite quirk that sets them apart from others, something that it theirs and theirs alone. JR has this water pipe chain that hangs above the landing to our apartment. Ever since she was able to reach it, her routine has been to stop, jingle it (although it makes no noise) and then continue about her way. Interestingly, she does that only on her way back home and hardly, if ever, on the way out. I wonder if that is because on the way out, the installation is to her back and she cannot really see it where as on the way in it is at her eye level. The other interesting observation is that she does not do it on other floors, like when we take the stairs up to our neighbors, but only on ours. Does she get some sense of comfort, belonging, ownership of it being there? Does it mark her territory? Does it evoke home?
I have not seen her "ringing" the chain in over 5 weeks, and almost forgot about it. I did not even think she was still interested in it.The times I have been out, I have been wheeled to the elevator and back, and thus missed noticing whether or not this was still part of her routine. So, when Jeff sent me a photo of it the other night, it came as a stark reminder that some things don't change.