Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Just when I decided that I am NOT going to try to live my life to impress anyone anymore....guess what?? I think I just did!! Aw, I was just bein' myself! During what will be one of the highlights of my summer, on June 21st, my sister Karen threw a preschool graduation BBQ for my beautiful niece Julia in her back yard in the country. My aunt and uncle from Rhode Island were there, various relatives on my brother-in-law's side of the family, and divers, divers kids!! All seemed to be the same size, all close to preschool age! The food was the best: hamburgers and hotdogs cooked on the grill, fresh salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and just a little lettuce, macaroni salad, fruit salad, yum, yum!! When the sun got too hot for me, I decided to join the tots in the jacuzzi on the back deck. The bubbler was turned off and the water lukewarm to keep it safe. Kids will be kids and there was much shouting and nose diving and scuffling about in this small space, but I kept cool!! When I mentioned my parakeet Sunshine, the kids were prompted to sing, "You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray...." I joined in and to my delight, every little kid there knew all the words. When I'd finally had enough, one of my sister Karen's relatives remarked, "We didn't think you would last two minutes in there with all of those kids!" I said, "I was in teaching for six years. I did everything! From two years old to adults." I was only speaking the truth, which it seems is often offensive. My father looked up at me from his wheelchair (he has had MS for years now) and pursed his lips as if to say, "That's my daughter. She done good. She's a chip off the old block!" I had given up on ever impressing him and decided I no longer cared! "Aren't you the bathing beauty!" my sister's mother-in-law said. "I hope I look better than last summer," I said. Just bein' myself! Note: my niece Julia looked beautiful as she always does. Wispy blond hair, long now, curls under at the ends, the dreamiest blue, blue eyes. She changed her clothes a number of times as is her daily habit, her proud mommy says. I thought she looked especially cute in a brown and pink pantsuit number with the wide retro pink candy striped headband. My aunt Pauline and I had a nice conversation on the deck. She asked, "So you're not working?" I said, "Well, I am. It's volunteer, BUT I am weeding and watering the front gardens where I live. So I am working." I told her that I also enjoy swing and ballroom dancing, just like my mother did when she was young and single. I was very happy to see my two sisters Kelley and Kim arrive later in the afternoon. It is not very often that the four of us are all in one place these days. Sitting with all of my family out in the sunny back yard and looking out at the sprinkler, the kids, the green grass, trees, the garden, I thought: Life is too perfect. And I wish it could always be just like this.