I am the lady in the hallway. I spend a fair amount of time waiting in school corridors while Annie is with various tutors. These are interesting venues. On floor two of one elementary school, I watch the young reading tutors leave their small office. I can’t imagine any of them are more than 25. I picture them shopping at Goodwill, and I imagine they wonder if working for such a small pittance is a good idea. I feel old, although I find much amusement in creating scenarios around their personas.

On the third floor of the same school, I sit outside the restroom. The kids look closely at me. If they look long enough for me to glance up from my writing or reading, I say hello. Often this leads to excellent conversations. I have talked about nightmares with one inventive fifth grader and about lice with another boy the same age.

So, most days I find all this waiting entertaining. I can do my work, as well. I am only completing a small bit of freelance writing and editing right now. It seems tracking down learning specialists, driving Annie to appointments and processing my feelings is akin to a full-time job. But part of me is really annoyed that my life revolves around Annie right now. A portion of me wants to look for a full-time job and only think or work on Annie’s issues after 9pm each night. The idea of a compartmentalized existence is pleasing.

I pick up and take Annie to various appointments three days a week. I just signed Annie up for a new reading tutor, too, so in a few weeks I will see Annie on four out of five school days. Sometimes I complain out loud to Chris about my entire world being about Annie right now.

“It’s a noble thing to do,” he replies. I find this statement (clearly his attempt at humor) both funny and annoying. Maybe it is virtuous to spend so much time figuring out my daughter’s learning disabilities, but I am sure a mom (or dad) who works full-time would also help her child as much as I am assisting Annie. Maybe she (or he) would be better at this task; less time available would lend itself to less worrying. This line of reasoning doesn’t really add up to anything valuable. I am not going to find a full-time job. In a year, I will have more time to work, and until then, I can fill my available hours with freelance work. This is where I am at right now. At the moment, my place is here in the hallway.

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