Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rediscovering Childhood!

Yesterday I had a fun outing with Jill and Debbie and Sam and Natalie to Crossroads, where Jill finally got out in to retail land again. The kids were good in Cost Plus and Sam was successful in wearing down his mom to get a stuffed football, though when he was doubtful he tried to slip it under his T-shirt. It's hard for a four year old to hide a stuffed football in his shirt. But you can't blame the kid for trying! Nat loved the nesting wooden dolls...but did not like it when I surprised her with a feathery purple mask. As difficult as it is for Natalie to communicate, she is incredibly expressive if you just look. Note to self: look more often. Then we had a blast in the party store trying on costumes. I ended up with a ridiculous Christmas jester hat (that I have since had fun with, though Andy would not let me wear it when we went out for sushi tonight) and Sam got a British copper hat which inspired him to leave the store making siren sounds. Then I had to say my goodbyes as I had an appointment to head into the city with Anne. But one thing that really struck me about the outing with Jill and Kids to the mall was the interaction Natalie had with two strangers, one in each of the stores. These women both made it a point to speak to Natalie, asked about the symbols on her lapboard and told Jill and Debbie how beautiful and bright Natalie was so that Natalie could hear it. It wasn't patronizing. It was wonderful and it made me realize how important that is, to both the people who are stuck in a body that limits them, and to the people who love and care for them. They say that life is worth living as long as you are learning and growing. I thank Natalie and her family for teaching me something new every time we are together. What a blessing.

Then I had a great escape into the City with Anne yesterday. It would have been wonderful anyway you slice it, but coming on the heels of snowboundness, it was especially sweet. Parked in my office garage ( $$ and stress on parking). Sale perusal at Restoration Hardware, interrupted by the sounds of music familiar to Anne, who found a free performance in the atrium by a gospel group she used to have entertain in her home. Great Christmas music by a gospel and children's choir and reunited old friends (Anne and the band). Then to Anthropology...I love everything in that store. But what I'm most excited about is a find that I get to add to the box of gifts that I really must get sent to my siblings. A book I've been trying to find since my sister was first expecting let's see....seventeen years ago. I've been looking on and off on the Internet the last couple years and never found anything more about it than it was "out of print." But, lo-and-behold, on the shelves at Anthropology there it was. A new reprint. I snatched up three copies, one for each of the Sib's homes (including my own). Once it has been sent and received by them I will reveal the book and slip in some of that wonderful wisdom it included, as needed. But it sure was fun to rediscover this staple of my childhood.

After some fun in Anthropology (mostly just lifting, oohing and aweing, smelling and poking and then putting back for further consideration), we wandered over to Bambuza, a most wonderful Vietnamese Bistro near the Convention Center. It was my suggestion but turned out it had wonderful memories for Anne as it was one of Hunter's favorite restaurants. After a lime drop martini and some good green papaya salad, walnut lemon prawns and broccoli and beef to satisfy our protein needs we made it back to the eastside. We attempted a movie at Lincoln Square but after experiencing how full the parking garage was we decided instead to check out the light show at the Botanical Garden. Every year I am so impressed with this show that is available for free to the public. Every year I come away wanting to learn how to create these wonders. Anne and I both mused about how cool these light creations would look in our respective yards. Maybe next year.... Then we checked out a few wonderfully decorated homes on our way back to drop Anne off. It was a wonderful escape, and the day concluded nicely when Andy made it safely back home from playing music and hanging with friends (they are practicing for a New Years Even booking they have).

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