It has been a full weekend, and a good one.
Saturday morning one of Hazel’s school friends had a party at a skating rink for her 6th birthday. Hazel told me before we even went that she didn’t want to skate. I told her that was ok, that she didn’t have to. I also told her that we were going to have to leave early in order to get to her piano recital, and asked if she was willing to agree in advance not to throw a fit when we left. She agreed. We shook hands on it. She reminded me of other times that she has left places with no fuss, and I thanked her for that.
We got to the rink. Her friend A had invited their whole class, I think, and so there were lots of friends milling about. We went to the skate counter, but Hazel said she didn’t want to get skates, that she wasn’t going to skate. I said ok. We went and sat in chairs and watched other people skating, and she pointed out her friends to me. I periodically asked her if she still didn’t want to skate, and she kept reaffirming that she didn’t want to. I asked her why, and she said she was afraid of falling. Eventually, I told her that I wanted her to reconsider, because she might be sad later if she hadn’t tried. I also said that I thought it would be more fun for both of us if we went out on the rink together. She changed her mind. I feel pretty good about that interaction: I was persistent, but not pushy, and I didn’t guilt trip her.
And so we got her skates, and made our way slowly over to the rink. And she loved it. She giggled madly when she fell down. I taught her to lean forward when she felt her balance going too far backwards. We went around several times. She gained confidence, and we had a great time together.
Then there was pizza, and then we had to leave, before cake. A’s mom invited us to come by later so Hazel could have a piece of cake, and Hazel left fairly readily, saying she wanted to come back and skate some more. A big success.
We arrived a bit early to the piano recital and helped a bit with setup. Our friend A came too, as well as Hazel’s auntie G and cousin B. Her piano teacher has a very young studio with a lot of little kids, and so is able to fit them all on a program. (I did wonder what will happen in ten years when they’re all older and playing longer repertoire, but that’s a long way away!) Seeing a train of little kids walking up to the piano bench, playing their pieces, and then jumping off the hot seat and moving with purpose back to their seats filled me with internal giggles, joy, and respect for all the hard work they’ve put in. Hazel did very well. She had a slow-down a couple of weeks ago during which she was protesting practicing, saying she didn’t want to take piano lessons, and telling me, “Mama, I don’t want to be a musician!” I thought a lot about how to respond to that, and ultimately changed the way we were practicing to include more of her choice. This seems to have worked, and the sessions are going well now. She worked hard this last week preparing for the recital. I was very proud of her.
After the recital we went to the park near our house with G & B. The two adults (my sister and I) were way too tired to deal with processing their conflict with them, so we told them to deal with it between themselves, that we weren’t going to listen. And they did! They did a great job of figuring it out, negotiating, having fun together. And my sister and I got to have a chance to walk and talk on a lovely, sunny afternoon.
After that, I took Hazel over to A’s house, where she had a piece of cake and a short playdate.
When we got home she was sad, because A, who had other friends over, hadn’t really played with her. I asked her on the ride home if she’d like some time with Ted, just the two of them. He and I had talked about that possibility previously. So they went off to a local coffee shop and drew together while I took a shower and didn’t talk to anyone for a while.
Then he and I went out for dinner together, to a local place we hadn’t tried yet.
And then I had a very productive quartet rehearsal, in which we decided which repertoire to put on which concert, and had a solid rehearsal of the Prokofiev. (I have a lot to practice!)
So that was Saturday.
Today Ted wasn’t feeling so hot. I took the kids to the park in the late morning. Hazel’s friend D showed up, and while I was pushing Emily on the swing and talking to my friend M, the kids found a glorious mud puddle. More like a mud pond. Very soon shoes and clothes came off, and there was a pile of some muddy and some relatively clean pants and shoes on the grass while they all ran and jumped and dug and frolicked in and around the mud. It was awesome. My brain was of course divided between horror and glee. I think that condition will probably pertain for a rather big percentage of this parenting journey. I allowed the glee to win, and enjoyed it quite a lot.
Then Ted brought the wagon over with some towels, and we wrapped our three up to take them home to the bathtub, having first made plans to go Christmas tree shopping with D and his parents later on.
While I was home my friend R called to tell me that he is going to be eligible for community corrections soon, which means he’ll be able to get out of the prison he’s in, very good news.
After bath there was a late and protracted nap, and then I took Hazel off to find a tree. Of course, she was much more interested in running around, shrieking and playing hide and seek with D and their other friend I than in perusing the Christmas tree selection. So I hemmed and hawed over trees with D’s parents, and eventually selected a very nice Noble fir that’s just about the perfect size for the spot we selected in our living room.
And then, Hazel and I were invited back to their place for dinner. We took our tree home, installed it by the window, and off we went for more shrieking and playing of hide and seek (on Hazel’s part) and nice conversation with new friends (on my part).
Now they’re all asleep, and Ted and I intend to follow their example (without the crying) soon.
Quite a wonderful weekend, all in all. I feel like I’ve had one, done something different, been out of the week routine for long enough to feel more peaceful about entering it again tomorrow.
Tomorrow is our anniversary (number one, the one 7 years after we took two dear friends as witnesses and went to the courthouse, as opposed to the second one, the occasion of our wedding), and along with Ted sleeping a good amount of the day to shake the sinus infection or cold or whatever’s going on for him, we’ll go out for brunch to mark the occasion.
Right now I’m feeling the richness of my expanding community, the dearness of all my long-time relationships, and the warmth of my kids’ families’ love for them, and am feeling content.
One thing we do when calming the twins down at naptime or nighttime is to run through the names of family: “Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you, sister Hazel loves you, sister Joanna/Emily loves you, Grandma L loves you, Uncle C loves you,” etc. It is soothing for me, too. I am grateful for all our loving connections.