Friday, August 21, 2009

Not Going Through the Motions

As I get a little older, the little things touch me deeper. Nice gestures mean more, the cute things my kids do bring a big smile, I feel tingles when a song I am listening to touches me, and small things that remind me of special people in my life that I have lost bring tears to my eyes in an instant.

My oldest is 11 and she is now a big middle schooler. She sings like an angel and joined the choir this year. It is four weeks into our school year and they had their first recital last night at our Barnes & Noble book store. There was about 80 kids and about the same number adults crammed into the back of the store. I got my friend to watch the toddlers so I didn't have to wrestle with them while trying to watch the choir. My husband Steve was trying to fight traffic to get their on time. I brought the camcorder and texted him with my exact location in the crowd, which fortunately was the side Adrienne was on, and got the camera ready. I was trying to let Steve know it was okay if he didn't make it because I was video taping it. He said "I will be there. I am not going to miss it!" 30 seconds before they started singing I see him wiggling through the crowd headed my way. I was so happy he made it. He whistled his distict way, Adrienne looked up and smiled, then they started singing.

They sounded beautiful. I held the video camera above the crowd and taped, zoomed in on Adrienne. I didn't bring my still camera or I would post a picture. Steve and I traded off because our arms kept tiring. The woman in front of us had her cell phone flipped open, allowing the person on the other end to hear the singing. I had to fight the tears pretty hard when I saw that. I don't know why it made me that emotional, but it must have been a daddy who was still at work, or couldn't quite make it through the traffic we are cursed with out here in the East Bay.

They sang 15 songs. It was so full of energy and harmonious. Amazing for 4 weeks of school! The teacher looked like he was conducting an orchestra and sang along with the kids. He was so much fun to watch. These music programs are all in danger at our schools... what a loss it would be for the kids to not have an outlet like this. It was a great 15 minutes and then back to our regularly scheduled life that I am so grateful for.

My husband drives a lot for work and is constantly struggling with traffic. He called this morning and said he was experiencing really heavy traffic and assumed there must be an accident ahead, we talked for a few and then hung up. He called about 1/2 hour later to say he had just seen a deceased woman as the result of the traffic accident. She was covered with a blanket, but her arm was not and he saw she was wearing several pieces of jewelry. It was 7:22 a.m. and surely she was on her way to work, like she probably did every other morning at that time.

Right after this I go to see why my sweet little old neighbor's dog was barking so much. He is a widow and has lived alone in the house he shared with his wife for a few years. I look out the window and see a fire truck and ambulance parked out front. About 10 minutes later, out he comes on a stretcher. I don't know what happened, but fortunately another family member had already arrived.

So, I feel especially emotional today, with the primary feeling being gratitude. I am grateful for my health and my family and respectful of how delicate life is. I am humbled by my neighbor, and know that how my life is now will change greatly over the years. Have a great day, and I am off to put capes on my toddllers and play superheroes for a while!


kristie said...

my goodness, Erin! In all our hurried conversations, I somehow haven't heard much about Adrienne, other than baseball!

Audrey said...

Our boys aren't much into singing, but each of them joined band in school and it was fun to go to their concerts too. Nice that you can record it!

Peebs And Roo said...

Your daughter has a great name! My name is spelled the exact same way! :oD

Erin said...

Adrienne - I was just on your blog and was going leave a comment saying the same thing! I named her after my best friend from elementary :)

laughingfridge said...

What a great, happy, sad, story. I just want to go home and hug my family.

Bridget said...

good morning,
Thank you so much for sharing your moving story. Life is so short, glad to hear you are grateful & appreciate all you have.