Monthly Archives: February 2009

Aquariums, Trumpets, and Wonder

Yesterday was a great day.   I had gotten a membership to the Aquarium for my birthday, so my mom, the kids and I met my best friend and her daughter (who is becoming like a close cousin to “The Muffin” and “The Noodle”) by the big bubble tubes just inside.  The Muffin was completely amazed the entire time, and kept repeating: “Wanna dive, mom. Can I dive?” I thought this was just great & told her “one day – maybe we can learn together”.   She wasn’t messing around, though: at one point, by the stingrays, I had turned my back for the 2 seconds it took to get the Noodle’s attention & point to the sharks (he really wanted to see the sharks), and that’s all it took.   She had kicked off her shoes & had her pants down around her ankles: “Wanna go swimming. Ok?”    Thank goodness the wall was too high for her to climb, or I would have been in real trouble!

I think they both loved the rays best of all (the apple doesn’t fall far, after all), and the waterfalls. I could have also sat in front of the octopus all day – or the sloth, who was actually with-in arms reach and MOVING! The Aquarium staff were equally amazed and all stood around talking about how “this never happens!”   The sloth at one point had completely turned itself around, and moved its head to look at us all … almost as if to say “whoooooaaaa! What are you dudes doing here?”

Later that evening, I got to go to a friend’s trumpet recital at Peabody. I love the trumpet, and this particular friend is especially talented – so, of course, I had a wonderful time. There is something particularly magical about a concert, which (for me) surpasses almost anything else in life. Music has a power to transport me to almost anywhere, and I never feel as creative or as satisfied as when I’m playing it or listening to it being played well.  It is completely amazing to me that a human being can accomplish such an ethereal thing.  In the case of the trumpet, to be able to breathe life into sound using a series of complicated twisted tubes is a wonder so incredible it … well, it leaves me speechless (which is really something). Sitting there with a friend on either side, listening to another friend create the music weaving its way through the air, I became fully aware of how incredibly fortunate I am.   My life is so wonderful, I think I must be the luckiest girl in the whole world…and also the most odd, because as I continued to listen, I became aware of a certain piece being played. I wish I could remember which one it was, because it was the sensation/scent of bitter cold blown in on a person coming into the warmth. To be more specific, it was coming into someplace warm with marble and wood… like a church or an old house – and the smell of the cold on a wool coat coming into that place …and I love that smell.   I am completely aware of how weird this makes me, but it truly is the magic of music.  It can have a taste or a color or a smell (and no, I don’t do drugs – for those of you who may be getting suspicious).  I think most people experience this, actually – at least subconsciously…. or anyway, I am going to go with that assumption …

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Living in “Neverland”

I am Peter Pan. I swoop down from (moderately) high places with foam sword in hand, have imaginary “pie fights” with my own little lost boy, and hang out with “Tinkerbell”. I swim with mermaids and fight pirates in their jungle gym ships. … Or maybe I’m Wendy: a little girl trying very hard to be “mother” (because someone needs to be “mother”, after all) but still taken in by the wonder of it all. To parent is truly to live in “Never, Neverland”, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Today was a day of childhood magic. It began with chocolate “instant breakfasts” all around and an “Indiana Jones” sandwich (peanut butter and banana) for “The Noodle”. Then, a friend of “The Noodle” and “Muffin” came over to play for a bit, before we headed off to a birthday party at noon. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and the breeze blew in a hint of spring … and, (best yet), the party we were heading to was close enough to walk. So we headed out – “The Noodle” dressed in his Batman finest, and “The Muffin” in green dragon pants (complete with dragon feet), a pink tu-tu and a sweater – to one of the most perfect birthday parties ever.

There were blue and yellow balloons with ribbons that touched the floor, a cupcake tower, big frosted sugar cookies on lollipop sticks, and a big bowl full of bubbles ready & waiting to be taken outside and blown away by giggling little 4 year olds wielding slippery plastic wands. Friends were everywhere running about in floaty princess costumes and foam crowns. There was a feast of pizza, strawberries, and juice boxes before the happy birthday song and the devouring of the cupcakes. There was an egg hunt. There was a pinata. There was playing and chasing and laughter… and it is the middle of February and felt like mid-spring. We walked home, taking our time and examining sticks and leaves and rocks along the way. When Jeff came home, we all played with bouncy balls in the backyard until the sun was well on its way down. It was a pretty perfect day, made even more so because when I remember that I am living in Neverland, I get to dress up, blow bubbles, play tag, and ask for a cupcake, too …

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“Long Time No See”

I admit to feeling a little guilty that I haven’t written anything in … oh … almost a month.  -And so much has happened, I almost feel I don’t know where to begin.  “Begin at the beginning, and end at the end”;  I can almost hear a former English teacher of mine speak these words as he stands by my desk looking at my blank notebook.  The only problem is that I can’t seem to remember which English teacher he was…  Not that it really matters, though, because I’m not taking his advice – whoever he was… Instead, I’ll skim over a few things that happened, and get on down to the more recent events.  (I’m sure he would shudder to read this anyway, for all of the grammatical errors so far – and I’ve only just begun!  Muhahahaha!)

First things first, “The Muffin” turned two years old a few days ago.  She was very excited to have her “very own party”, as she put it “for meeeee????”, with a big smile on her face.  Before anyone gets excited, we decided to only invite standard family – without the standard “friends that have become family”.  We did this, basically, because we were exhausted, and adding in everyone makes for a 30-some-odd-number guest list.  (I know, we really are incredibly fortunate to have so many close friends, and I felt sooooo badly about not inviting everyone that my hands physically shook when I hit “send” on the “e-vite”.)  And, actually, we could have invited everyone, after-all, because for the first time ever, most of the family couldn’t make it, anyway.  Oh well.  So it was a small, lovely little party, and she had a really nice time.  I was afraid I’d have teary pangs of “my sweet Muffin is TWO!  I can’t believe it” – but, no.  I was fine.  It was great.  We went to DC on her actual b-day (the party was the day before) and walked around the Air & Space museum & it was just a great day.

I say great – it was – but it could have been better, actually, if I could chew…anything.  You see, about a week prior, I had something called “crown lengthening surgery”.  This was presented to me as “no big deal, really”.  No one said it was a cake-walk, but no one suggested it would take at least a week to recover.  No one, that is, except the periodontist.  When she looked at the x-ray, she told me “I don’t even know if I can DO this.  I’m not even sure if it’s possible!”  then after looking in my mouth, she said.  “Ok, yeah, I can – but only because the person who did your root canal was AWESOME (she used this word), and the person who did your temporary crown did an AMAZING job.”  Then she went on “Well, I hope you cleared your week.”  -And that’s when my heart sank.  She then prepared me for the kind of recovery I was looking at.  At this point I was feeling two things.

1. Near terror.

2. A little bit of aloofness.  I thought “well, my body was over getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted after having them broken into teeny pieces in a couple of days!  I’m sure I’ll bounce back from this one no problem.”

Oh boy, how wrong I was.  I am actually still in pain.  I went in yesterday to have the stitches taken out of my mouth and explained to the dentist that I can’t even open my mouth wide enough to eat a banana – and I can’t chew something as brittle as a potato chip.  I am in sooo much pain that I finally had to resort to taking the heavy duty pain killer before bed – and I had been priding myself that I was only taking ibuprofin.  Well, as it turns out, it seems the muscles in my jaw have been spasming – which is what has been creating the pain.  -It also explains why I haven’t been able to practice my violin because it’s just too painful.  Hopefully this will only last a few more days … here’s hoping, anyway.  On the bright side, though, I CAN eat cake – which I have been craving… mmm…

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