“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Beautiful Sunday

There are moments in life where I find myself so deliciously happy that I am breathing it in as if it were a vapor I could savor. It’s moments like these that I wish I could capture in one of those lovely antique perfume bottles with the elegant glass stoppers so that I might relish a little bit of it again later. Instead I am left with memories that I am afraid may dull with time or be altogether forgotten.

Saturday was spent with a full day of studying that ended late at night with my body and head aching. My eyes felt like they were sunburned, I’d been at the computer so long. Little Miss Elena danced her way into my study space and announced that she was tired. “Me too,” I said, “Want to snuggle?” A big grin stretched across her face and she enthusiastically nodded yes. “And I’ll read you a story, Mama!” she cried. So we put on our jammies, brushed our teeth, and climbed into bed. As we snuggled, I nodded off to sleep to the story of a tiny mermaid read by our household’s newest reader.

Night owls are not early risers; and they love lazy Sunday mornings. I awoke to a beautiful smiling kindergartener snuggling me as she asked, “Can we turn on the Disney Channel Mama?!”

“Of course, sweetheart,” I replied. After all, how could anyone say no to that face?

Every time I tried to get up, my little one would snuggle in closer and wrap her arms and legs around me. “Don’t leave Mama!” Fits of giggles and silliness filled the room. After a while, however, I simply had to get up. Let’s face it; nature won’t wait!

“Breakfast!” I said. We went into the living room to find big brother playing Wii and kissed him “Good Morning”. Daddy had made blueberry muffins for us. We had muffins, strawberries, milk and juice. But the big event for Elena and I was the ballet – we were going to see Cinderella with her friend Sarah!

After breakfast, we got our clothes out for the ballet and got ready to get cleaned up. I washed Elena’s hair and she washed mine. “While you’re washing you have to sing the la la la song Lena. Like this…. La la la la la la la la ….la la la la la la la …la la la la la la la la,” I said. And whenever she would splash me with hot water I would let out a silly, “Ahhh!” When my turn came, Elena piled my hair up in all sorts of crazy hairstyles. She was fascinated by the way the soap held it in place. We had so much fun, we lost track of the time, and had to rush getting dressed. But our hair was squeaky clean!

We rushed to the ballet and I was in such a relaxed mood from my fun morning that not even the traffic in Philadelphia could irritate me. We were a few minutes late, but didn’t miss much. Sarah and her Mom were already there. The ballet was beautiful! Elena has been taking ballet since she was three and she is now six. She also takes tap now. My feeling is that if she ever stops having fun, we’re done. Right now, her favorite thing to do is sing and dance. She stood during about 30% of the ballet because she was itching to get up on stage and dance with everyone else. Every once in a while during the performance, her little arm would go up in a graceful pose in imitation of the ballerinas on stage. It was so endearing to watch. I’ve always loved dance and am so enjoying watching my daughter grow as a little dancer. It’s fun to share that interest.

One of the sweetest things was when she turned to me and asked who the dancer was playing Cinderella. We looked it up in the program and found out that it was Martha Chamberlain, the same dancer who played Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, her first professional ballet. When we went to that ballet two years ago, I bought a pair of Martha Chamberlain’s autographed toe shoes for Elena. When Elena figured this out, she turned to me and whispered, “If I had her shoes with me, she might recognize me and know me!” She’s now decided that Martha Chamberlain is her favorite principal dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Who knew a pair of shoes would make a little girl so happy?

It’s not to say that on this Sunday there weren’t little moments of annoyance, or irritation. My daughter certainly had her moments of “I’m hungry!” and “I don’t want…!” But for some reason they quickly faded to smiles and fun. It was one of those miraculous days when I felt like the tricks and trades of Motherhood were working in my favor. So while I may not have a bottle to place all of that love and happiness in, I suppose a blog will have to do until the next beautiful Sunday.

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