Monday, January 5, 2009

A Visit

The joy of coffee

Cherry Park Sand Box

This weekend Noelle's grandparents, Stephen's parents, came for a visit. It was a perfect time since in Texas we are occasionally graced with summer days in the dead of winter. It is a sight to see, really -- twisted bare branches set against a perfectly baby blue sky that seems to go on forever --a Texas sky as I like to call it -- the sunlight prematurely stirring ground and trees from their winter slumber. We set timid feet out as well, feeling for the coldness, then, upon feeling the warmth, emboldened to once again don short sleeves and open shoes. And so it was that we ended up at the gardens a few blocks from away from our home, so Noelle could show off her Secret Garden to her grandparents.

She fed the Koi. At first she wanted to throw all the fish food the opposite way, but after a few times, she got the picture and had a blast feeding the fish. They are quite stunning orange golds and greys, and one albino white, all with the mustaches that give them that curious look of wise old men.

A treasure.

Taking a quiet moment on the labyrinth, paths set in bricks that wind to a stone bench where one can sit...and listen.

Admiring the sound of a waterfall that falls far enough to cause a roar one has to lift their voice over to be heard.

We also went to the park (picture at top) where Noelle was entranced by what the other kids were doing. I have never seen her so still. At home, she is always so active, so quick to jump into doing. Occasional moments of contemplation, but mainly she is a doer, not a watcher. But at the park, she would sit still as a statue, watching one kid swing, another playing in the sand. And only after a long while would she venture to join in, toppling some little girls sand tower that I would have to pull her back from, muttering apologies. Only to have it happen again, because, well, there is that Capricorn determination to contend with.

And with the post holiday quietness and the presence of only one present, Noelle slowly and methodically unwrapped Christmas gifts. On Christmas, she was at her cousins' house, where she watched them (ages 6 and 7) tear through their gifts with the vigor children have in that magical time when they actually know what Christmas is, but before they know the truth about Santa. And so she had two Christmases this year, one focused on her and her discovery of wrapping paper, and a new doll that she has not put down since she opened it, and one where she witnessed all the fun in store for her in a time not too far off. A pretty good deal, if you ask me.

In the end, looking at all these pictures, I can forget the missed naps and delayed meals that ended in a very fussy little one, the overzealous mother who insisted on taking her out for not one, but two trips to parks because the weather was so beautiful,(which again ended in a very fussy little one), because when you see moments like these... well it just seems a small price to pay.

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