Max and I took Emma to the museum of life and science, a place I have been many times, though not in a long, long time. It was perfect, my little niece no longer a chunky toddler, all limbs and courage, running through each exhibit like it was on fire, eager to explore it all.
Emma, you climbed to the top of the rock wall then said, "help." I was already there, and without another word, without checking to see if I was ready, you let go and leaned back. A trust fall right into my arms. I am constantly amazed at your daring. And later, when you got a splinter in your foot, you insisted it was you who would pull it out, tweezers in your tiny hands trying and trying and trying. It's hard, as an adult, to step back and let kids work things out for themselves sometimes. I caught myself getting frustrated, waiting as your hands slipped and shook, wanting so badly to just get it out for you. But that is a mistake made too often by adults, undermining the ability of kids. I'm sorry I doubted you. I'm so proud of how independent you were then, how confident you were in your skill. I hope that confidence is something you carry with you always, because you are something special girl.
my whole day was this way, surrounded by one special person after the next. first Max and Emma, and then my best friends Carolyn, Rob, Chad, and later Sara.
I feel electric around these folks, wired. when I'm with them I forget to feel the way I do most days: awkwardly quiet and shy, clumsy limbs and tangled tongue. around them I feel free, full of energy. we laughed and ate good food and it felt so good.
and afterwards, with full bellies, we went back to Chad and Sara's enchanting home where the boys talked and talked while Sara and I crafted. their house inspires me, the people who live there inspire me. It was therapeutic there, sitting on the floor with Sara, vintage national geographic photographs spread around us, Sara's talented hands stitching together blocks of color, my own smudged in oil pastels. we shared our thoughts on this whole experience, on finding a dream and following it, on bumps in the roads turned learning lessons. on the difficulties of legos and the ease of paper. we stayed too late, drove home with eyes drooping. but I didn't mind, waking up for work tired was worth it because moments like that, surrounded by such beauty, are what I live for.