First, there are a few photos from our first Christmas celebration on the parallel blog; link at right. Second, the photos fail to show all the illness that abounded amidst our crew, but do catch the overall happy and relaxed vibe. It was nice to be sick and have nothing else to do. No cooking. No laundry. No nothing. We checked into the hotel with the rest of the Cairns family and nobody seemed bothered by all the nothing we were doing, together.
Grandma Alice and I took the two older children to the National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the new Opera House in Toronto. Amazing. I was moved to tears at one point by the sheer beauty and grace of the scene before us. All that intense work and effort and artistry to create something that can’t be held in the hand, or consumed, or made into anything else. It made me feel that art really matters, that it feeds the spirit and the soul in ways that can’t be explained. Afterwards, I asked Albus what he thought of the show, and he replied, dead serious, “I didn’t really like the dancing.” Well. That doesn’t leave much left over at a ballet! But he liked the soldiers and fighting scenes (of course). Apple-Apple would comment of a particular costume or dancer during the performance, “She’s soooo beautiful,” and then tune out moments later. Lots of wriggling. We were in the cheap seats and it seemed an extra-excited wriggle might send one plunging miles downward to one’s death. Apple-Apple assured me she’d land on the people directly below us instead.
Other highlights: CJ practicing standing all over the place. He’s really found his core balance and wants to be upright and unsupported. No steps yet. Kevin and I taking a nap with CJ while the big kids hung out in Grandma Alice’s room. Eating really really good food. Santa in the hotel lobby. Lunch with an old friend. The big kids reading chapter books, everywhere: at the restaurant, before bed, in the middle of the morning. Children running freely between our room and Grandma Alice’s room. Watching the older children’s independence bloom. Fireworks out our hotel window on the longest night of the year. Safe driving despite “Snowmaggedon.” Family.
Kids’ highlights: Albus: Present-opening. Reading. Apple-Apple: Yah! Reading. Fooey: Presents.