Monday, October 17, 2005

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Full moon tonight - I plan to eat out in the yard on the orange bench that used to be on my grandparents' back porch. Not exactly traditional for the first night of Sukkoth (no sukkah and I don't feel inclined to walk up the hill to the community sukkoh) but at least out doors. The air is clear with the slanted light appropriate to October though the temperature is ten degrees higher than my October ideal (80's not low 70's this afternoon) Leaves are looking old and gold tinged, waiting to fall. I wonder if the moon will rise orange.
I am in full grandma mode. KK will be a mouse in the Nutcracker this year, one of five at her level - a little more serious choreography than last year as an angel. She and I get the treat of going to Ballet Austin's costume ball for Petit Partners - the kids whose families make a small contribution each year in their names. All are young dancers - most pretty serious, and its a fun group. I love dressing up and being entertained. KK will be a white cat and I think I will stick with my black dress and orange boa but may try something more elaborate. I've been accompanying KK to Saturday classes and rehearsals and love the routine - traveling with her on the city bus, picnics between classes, stopping for shaved ice on the way to the bus stop when she's done, watching her stretch in the hall and adjust her hair, watching her grow and thrive - knowing her and being part of the network that helps her do what she loves -dance.
Monday mornings Zach - three - visits. Today we went to Northwest Park, as we often do - so perfect - I sat on a bench in the cool alternately watching the kids and reading - probably the same bench I sat on when Ruth and Joanna played at the same park. Zach came flapping his arms to be fed Chex Mix - Zachy bird - then ran off to climb and laugh with other kids. He is so much fun these days - no tantrums likehe threw last year, easy communication, clear affection. He is beginning to recognise letters and uses increasingly complex sentences.
Yesterday afternoon I had all theree kids and it was Danny who shone, with his imagination and creative skills, his social connection with kids at the park, his sweetness and awareness. He had them playing an elaborate dressed up game in the back yard - king, princess and bad guy - classic. I called them in at dark and fed them pumpkin pudding. It was an afternoon that reflected the best times raising my own girls.
I am so fortunate to have these children close. Some days I wish every day was a Monday - a day without work and with both family time and time alone. Retirement seems so idyllic but I know I'm not ready yet financially or in terms of feeling done regarding the practice and what I can contribute there. Work days are still good, satisfying, not too hard - but Mondays are special and mine and I need them.
Bob is trying hard not to be disappointed with the change to fifth grade. He has great kids but still feels uprooted and unprepared, is trying not to resent being forced to make the change. I'm glad he has a whole week off at Thanksgiving and we have no special plans. I hope we get some hiking in. I think that will help him feel refreshed and ready to continue with his class.

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