The perfection of the magical picture outside my window isn't real. I'm well aware. Life just isn't quite that picturesque. For the past three weeks, I've been sick, ...hacking and coughing, struggling to breathe every night. Sore and weak from not sleeping, I've been grumpy and whiny too. In my exhaustion I tend to worry about things I care deeply about but can't solve. I've also begun to feel that nagging sense of urgency about my students' upcoming concert and my lack of remaining rehearsal time.
Ryan was gone on a business trip the night before last, and my single-mom-for-a-night self was frustrated and impatient with my squirelly children who where being silly and ridiculous and NOT getting ready for bed after a late night out at Wednesday night church. After a tearful saga and loud and a rather dramatic bedtime routine, we all finally slept.
Yesterday, the girls played with their Nana, while I spent the day listening to beautiful (as well as awful) violin, viola, and cello sounds, listening to (and attempting to offer wise advice? for) elementary playground conflicts, passing out bandaids, comforting tears, and hearing delightful stories about hours spent practicing and new songs memorized.
Now today, all seems well again. So my gratitude kicks in. Looking back, my week was just busy enough, with days at home, and work that I love at school. I feel full and accomplished and overflowing with gratitude for this restful day. My love for my students is growing as I watch them grow and our knowledge of one another grows too. They delighted me with enthusiastic stories of their practicing accomplishments this week.
Ryan arrived back home last night after two business trips in two weeks. And today, after work he begins his full week of vacation. (I'm envisioning a new mantle built over the fireplace and boxes of Christmas decorations being unpacked, stockings hung, lights twinkling...)
Sophie is sleeping upstairs after our fun morning of bringing Maya to school, sipping our coffee and chocolate milk at Starbucks, cleaning our house, reading stories, and bringing birthday oranges to Great Grandpa Andy & Grandma Marge. While we were there, Sophie got several rides down the hall on their walker (which I think is only used for giving Sophie rides?). They made her a bowl of Mrs. Grass chicken noodle soup at her request (at 10:30 AM!?) and a cup of instant coffee for me. We dug around their apartment through three bedrooms full of old cassette tapes, VHS tapes, books, pictures, boxes of yarn and old greeting cards searching for the DVD of Anne of Green Gables. The grandchildren bought it for Grandma last year for Mother's Day, but she couldn't remember where it was. When we finally found it, we discovered a broken DVD/VHS player. A problem that will need to be solved soon.
But the time was lovely, and I can't get over how grateful I am that my daughters have such rich connections with (four sets!! of ) grandparents and great grandparents. I've always had special grandparent connections too, but mine always lived far away, and my Great Grandparents where all gone before I was born. My children have an almost daily kind of life with Grandparents. Something I never even imagined. Today, Sophie's 93 year old great grandfather hopped down to his knees (as if it were no big deal) to give her a big good-bye hug. She ran to meet him (and I envisioned, with horror, her wild force knocking him over) and gave him a gentle hug. (phew)