Yesterday was one of those days that was like the eye of the storm for us.
Angelique got home from a business trip Friday evening, and leaves again tomorrow morning. She'll be back Thursday, but I leave on Wednesday on my next trip (thank GOD once again for grandma!). Both trips represent kind of a 'professional climax' for each of us, and it's interesting that they are the first business trips of the year that overlap. We've been amazingly lucky to get this far into the year without this happening yet.
Angelique's trip, well, I'll be able to tell you more about it next week. The details of it are kinda top secret, so I'll fill you in soon. I'm heading (back) to Jacksonville for the American Music Therapy National Conference. I am teaching three courses/sessions there: a 5 hour class, a 90 minute class, and a 60 minute class, plus attending numerous meetings as the regional President-Elect, PLUS launching something rather top secret myself. :-) Uff da. That's a lot of stuff between Ang and me.
SO… yesterday was our day to really unwind and be in total kid mode. First, Ali asked me if I would take her to "Princess Ballet" class, since mommy had taken her the first two times. She wanted me to see her in action. No problem. Well, let me tell you, that girl was IN HER ELEMENT. At the beginning of class, each student gets a pair of fairy wings, a tiara, and a magic wand… gear we already have at home, of course, so donning any of it was/is second nature to La Princessa Alessandra. I asked her to come to the door for me to snap a quick pic to capture the moment, and this pose was all her, with no prompting…
Next, it was onto "A Day Out With Thomas (the train)."
We hopped in the family minivan and drove out the the bustling metropolis of Perris (not Paris), California. There is a train museum out there and they had a whole fair set up with a full size, real life Thomas the tank engine pulling a line of (random) coaches down the track about a half a mile and back through a pretty, well, run down neighborhood. But forget all that, because with children, the imagination is a powerful thing, so for every functioning or nonfunctioning train we saw, we thought of the train in the Thomas world that it most resembled and we called it that, and you know what? It worked like a CHARM, baby! Both Ali and Julian were fully invested in the trains. It was super cute.
Then, being not too far away from some dear friends of ours, we headed over to their house to see their baby for the first time and eat some grub. We had a wonderful dinner, and their daughter and Ali HIT IT OFF with their common love of all things princessy… apparently, she is usually around boys all the time, so to have a girl come over and want to play dress up was a pretty amazing thing! It was great to see our friends, and so sweet to hold a 5 month old baby again! All you parents know what I mean… once your kid is 30 pounds (or more) of non-stop action, a little tiny baby is just DELICIOUS to snuggle with! LOL.
In other random news, Ali and I planted this morning glory plant from a hand full of seeds in a pot over the summer. Can’t remember when specifically, but a lot of work went in to cultivating those little seeds. A lot of work went on “underground/behind the scenes” before we saw about a dozen little sprouts in our pot. Then, they grew up this little structure we placed in the pot to help them climb. When they reached the top, I transplanted the lot of them into the ground and prayed they’d survive the move. Then, they started dying out, but one sprout kept going, and it caught on to the big lattice I placed behind it. It grew slowly, delicately, and I was a good steward, re-routing the vine back and forth across the lattice. The vine grew, and the leaves grew, but for the longest time, no flowers.
This photo is what I woke up to this morning. It is POPPING and EXPLODING! It’s what Ali and I envisioned all those months ago, and it’s beautiful.
Life is busy, and while life may be full of wonderful things, there are many things a lot less than wonderful that happened this week to friends, family, colleagues, and members of the EB community. It was a tough week with a lot of loss. The EB community lost another BMT patient 5 months post transplant; our thoughts and prayers are with his family along with all those who just got hit by tornadoes today, and of course the typhoon in the Philippines. It's just impossible to make sense of it all, and I'm again reminded of how temporary and fragile life is. So please, while you have one (a life) LIVE IT UP… don't just survive. You and I have this precious GIFT. Enjoy it with a healthy dose of gratitude. Let your living life to the max be a tribute to those who have lost this gift.