quartet rehearsal, zoo with Hazel, a day at our friends’ house

We worked on Beethoven Op. 59 No. 3 last night at our quartet rehearsal. I have had melodies from it running through my head ever since, in the most delightful way. I love the Minuet with its 16th note runs and lilts. And I love the way we work together, with everyone contributing ideas and suggestions. It is a mutual, collaborative experience complete with humor and dedication.

In the afternoon I took Hazel to the zoo for some Mommy-Hazel time. I got her some ice cream, and we got to see the giraffes crossing the pathway from the place where you can feed them (we’ll have to do that some time) to their regular enclosure. They lined up in anticipation, including the teenage giraffe who is distinguishable from his elders by his lighter coat and slightly smaller stature.

We stopped to play with the stone lion statues, and then Hazel decided to doctor my leg by putting dirt onto it, carefully patting it down so it could get into my blood and make it stronger, using a stick to further work it gently in so that it would remove bad things from my blood (I told her I was glad she was detoxifying it), and then slowly brushing it away with hands and a special twig. The whole procedure was repeated twice, and then she wanted me to do the same for her. I enjoyed sharing a project together, along with her kid-intentness and a few laughs.

On the way back from the zoo we stopped off for me to make photocopies of the quartet music, finally, so I could give the parts back to our violist who’d gotten them out of the library. Hazel happily drew and cut, glued and stapled my rejected pages together while I was fiddling with the machine. Quite a lovely afternoon with her.

Earlier today Ted and I went through our Positive Discipline materials to pick out what we wanted to photocopy and blow up to put on our walls. He’s going to do that tonight. I am looking forward to having those ideas and tools readily available to us for those moments when we need the support.

On Saturday we went to our friend MA’s house. They live out in the country now and have two horses. Hazel used to spend the afternoon and early evening at their house while I was working from before she was a year old until she was about 4. She and H, who is about 2.5 years older than she is, after a bit of initial awkwardness, ran off and played happily together for hours. MA said she heard some argument and negotiation, but they settled whatever they needed to without reference to us, so great. We got to ride the horses, hang out in the marvelously warm sunshine, eat meals together, and watch our twins and hers play. Such a huge treat.

All the kids loved riding the horses. Joanna got to sit on the horse in front of Hazel and in front of me, and that helped her get to the point that she was happy to ride by herself (with me right next to her). She and Emily held on to their horses and smiled and smiled and smiled. I really enjoyed it too, after the first moments of thinking, “Holy crap, I’m going to fall off!” My body adjusted and riding with Joanna snuggled up to me, sharing fun and coziness and sunshine and a new experience filled my heart.

I am glad we’ve had such a beautiful summer and early fall. I’m feeling a bit trepidatious about the inevitable rain and grey, but I’m trying to just soak up these beautiful days so they can live in my skin and my heart all winter long.

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