Though tonight’s bedtime has been seriously challenging and involved quite a lot of crying, (I headed upstairs with them at 8:45, and Emily is maybe, just maybe, now getting to sleep an hour and a half later – she’s still got that hiccupping, post-sob in her breath) today was rather wonderful.
My mother’s cousin and her friend are in town after an Alaskan cruise, and so this morning we put an extra leaf and pad in place and had a lovely family brunch. Despite running somewhat behind, we wound up with a meal of eggs, turkey bacon, regular bacon, and blueberry pancakes. Yum! During the visit Emily produced yet another new word, her cousin’s name! And she demonstrated the same love and attachment for her cousin that Hazel always has, asking for her and holding her hand. I really love seeing those relationships develop.
This afternoon, after nap (sorely needed by all three kids: Hazel slept; Joanna slept; Emily, unfortunately, had nap fail) a family of friends came over. The mom in this family is someone I last saw 35 years ago, when we were in an orchestra for children together. We also played in a small ensemble including flute (her instrument) and strings. Due to that activity, we spent some time at each other’s houses. I have somewhat scattered memories of her house, and of the orchestra. By one of those miraculous flukey happenings, she was at an orchestra concert several weeks ago and sat next to one of my students and his family. Conversation and then discovery occurred, she wrote a note, and today we managed to meet up. She and her family live not too far from here. Today they brought instruments (two of her kids play violin, and the third plays the cello), their bunny (they were going to be gone from home for more than one day), and some lunch.
The afternoon started nicely – we recognized each other, despite the decades-long gap, and it was quite fantastic to see each other again. And it just got better from there. The bunny was a great ice-breaker. Emily delighted in holding him, and everyone wanted to pet him. I played a duet with their cellist kid (with counting assistance from my friend). Hazel wanted to play some piano, so we played for our friends. By the end of our visit the kids were playing very naturally together. Great conversations wove their way in and out as we moved around from activity to activity and from space to space. It was the sort of afternoon that made me feel happy about people. Finding warmth and ease, acceptance and connection is such a gift. I am so glad that we’ve come back together again after so long.
All three kids cried when our new friends left. I am sure we will get together again soon, and we will all look forward to that.
After dinner I took the kids outside to play. Our neighbor was out watering, and that prompted more wonderful play, in the puddles created by the hose, in the water coming directly from the sprayer, with the whirligig in the water. They climbed my neighbor’s stairs and left little footprints all over her porch, giggling all the while.
Finally, it was time to come in. We did a bath, and bed, and now they’re all asleep.
Ted’s out having downtime, and so now I can too. It’s too late for a movie, but that’s ok. I can relax, think about my awesome day, and enjoy the fact that because Ted is taking Tuesday off we have three more to go in this long weekend.