I was going to write about our beach week with the kids day by day, but that would take so long and life here at home is starting up again, work in about eight hours and some of that should be spent sleeping. So I'll try a new form - a highlights form.
Summary first: On Danny's ninth birthday Bob took our children and K'K's best friend Allison down to the beach condo for a week. I joined them late that night after Sophie's memorial service and a wonderful visit with relatives from my mother's family. Ruth and Chris drove me down and stayed with us until New Year's Day.
The first days were warm (or at least not cold) - allowing the kids to run into the Gulf of Mexico on more than one occasion. The first evening Chris and Ruth saved a life. a fifteen year old homeschooler had been getting surfing lessons when stung by a Portuguese Man O War - or something. She had an allergic reaction, began to go into shock, which Chris recognised because of his peanut allergy. The young woman had an epi pin with her, but her friend injected it incorrectly (into her own thumb) and the shock progressed. Ruth had an epinephrine inhaler with her, which they gave the young woman and Chris helped her stay alert until the ambulance came. We were all a bit shaken, especially the kids, but I'm so proud of Chris' quick thinking.
At the aquarium Danny's favorite thing was the diver demonstration in the tank - feeding the fish. In fact, as much as he loves being on the beach that was his highlight of the whole trip. That boy LOVES watching fish. Also, we got to show Allison, who wants to be a marine biologist and adores dolphins, her first wild dolphins from the ferry.
We did all our traditional cool Corpus things including the carousel at the mall. K.K. can't get enough of the spinner, EVER.
It was a joy having Allison with us and watching her friendship with K.K. and even with the boys. I kept getting struck by the fact that these kids are having their happy childhood RIGHT NOW and Bob and I get to be part of it and enrich it.
Zachary rides a scooter fiercely and with great joy but sufficient caution, K.K. like the dancer she is in full arabesque, Danny and Allison like a regular kids. Danny is getting seriously good at Foosball and K.K.'s ping pong has improved greatly. Mine too.
The Iowa Caucus excited us. Go Obama!
On Friday I got to meet Bob's class and conference with a number of his students who are especially interested in writing. They are so sweetly open with the truths of their lives - wishing for money to buy a camera to be able to keep a scrapbook of pictures of friends and family, concern and relief that a cousin recently shot in an ambush in Iraq and recovering now at home, worry about a cousin in another family who has run away, the plot of a fantasy story about a boy who day dreams and meets magical creatures in a wood. I love these kids - wish I could teleport and live my life here but see them a couple of times a week too.