It was a typical Friday night. I pulled up to the store parking lot to meet the bus from the school for blind, gather Amigo and his bags, and head home.
As he got in the car, he was full of excitement. "Mom, did you hear what's happening in Madison?" He continued talking, telling how he'd been learning about how the legislature works, what a quorum is and why it's important, and a lot about the process of writing and passing a law.
Then he dropped the bombshell.
"Mom, I wish I could go to Madison tomorrow for the demonstration."
I offered, "How about downtown on the plaza tomorrow afternoon?"
Amigo responded with an enthusiastic "Yeah!!"
So we made a sign for Amigo, I wore red to support my colleagues, and La Petite charged her camera to document the event. Here's the rest of the story. The top photo shows my neighbors, both retired high school teachers, great people and great teachers. No, they're not wearing Bear colors; those are the colors of my alma mater, West High School.
This was perhaps the youngest participant at the rally.
I don't usually show full face shots of my offspring, but they were so great together I couldn't resist.
I'll have more background on Saturday's post: personal experiences passed down through the family the old fashioned way, by the oral tradition. Well, the updated oral tradition: my relatives emailed me the stories they'd heard from my grandfather.
Both girls were home last weekend. It was good to have them home, even though they spent a good deal of time screaming "I hate you" at each other --- just before deciding to go to see the Justin Bieber movie together in a "my sister is my BFF" kind of way.
Jen and I made a little trip to the ER Sunday night. Nothing serious, as I mentioned earlier....but it gave us some time alone, away from the rest of our family, to chat...I told her all about how I gave new meaning to the words "business trip" one time, wound up in a soft cast on my foot for two weeks. Strange how you can have a bonding moment while waiting for x-rays to come back.
Becca and I had some "alone time" on Saturday. She'd gone to lunch with a friend, then found her way into Barnes & Noble, where she'd bought herself a new game -- she loves to play "Scene It" and was excited to find the new Disney version of the game. She came home and asked me to play -- she knows I'm a Disney fan, I've played other versions of "Scene It" and she thought we'd have some fun. It's been a long time since we played any sort of game together. Of course, she's much better at the game than I am....it's been a long time since I've had to "let her win". Whatever tasks remained undone that day, it was worth it to spend time with Becca like I used to....
It must have been Jen's 11th birthday, or maybe her 12th....There was an entertainment company, their primary business was providing DJ services at bar/bat mitzvahs, but they'd turned some unused space in their offices/warehouse into a casual party room....For a small fee, you could do a kids' party, two hours of a DJ/MC entertaining the kids, plus pizza and soda and a helper to serve the food. Parents were expected to provide the birthday cake. When I made a party there (and I made several), I also provided chips, goodie bags and my sisters' home-baked cookies.
Anyhow, for this particular party, I'd ordered a sheet cake from my favorite local bakery. The bakery was a good 20-30 minute ride from the party place. The cake was absolutely gorgeous, all pink and flowery and perfect. I carried it gingerly to my car, and drove as if I had raw eggs on the back seat and was afraid to break them. Handed the cake to the young lady who was to serve the food, and she put it in the back room.
About halfway through the party, the young lady approached me with a scared, sad look on her face and asked me to come into the back room.
It seems that the refrigerator in the back room was about 4 1/2 feet tall. She'd placed the cake on top of the refrigerator. And when she opened the refrigerator door to get the soda, the cake box (with the cake still inside!) flipped over.... The cake was still edible, of course, since it was in the box, but it certainly wasn't pretty anymore.
I had to bring Jen to the back room and show her the cake, because I didn't want her to get an unppleasant surprise when we sang "Happy Birthday". She took it surprisingly well.
Instead of coming up with a new post for today, i thought I'd repost an old entry from my blog, something that makes me think of sunshine and warm breezes and wearing flip flops....a memory of Becca's 15th birthday.
. Becca celebrated her 15th birthday on in July 2007. She had a birthday celebration before her actual birthday. she decided to make her 15th birthday a "girls night out". there were 15 of us -- my two sisters and I chaperoned 12 teenage girls -- Becca, Jen, Jen's friend Crystal and 8 of Becca's closest friends. I'm sure you can read 12 different versions of this story if you read facebook or myspace, because of of the girls had a wonderful evening and couldn't wait to tell everyone else about it. we asked all the girls to meet at our house, where Becca served chips and dip and entertained her friends on the back deck. then we loaded up the cars -- two minivans I rented for the occasion -- and drove into Manhattan. when we got into the cars I had the urge to say something "cute" like "Cinderella, your carriage awaits", because when Becca was a toddler she used to kick off her shoes in the car and I would make a "Cinderella" joke. but I refrained from goofy comments. we parked the cars in a garage on 45th street, right near the marriot Marquis. our first destination was John's Pizza. we ordered pizza and sodas and garlic bread and salads. yum! and the waiter brought a dessert with a candle in it for Becca in honor of her birthday. then we walked uptown. my "Cinderella" joke came back to haunt me then. Becca was wearing these lovely gold mettalic shoes, they had a 2 inch chunky heel. somehow she managed to break the heel of her shoe. my sisters dashed over to the M&M store on 49th street and bought her a pair of flip flops. the rest of us went to 50th street to the snapple theater center. this is a great little theater complex, in the theater district but considered "off Broadway" because of the size of the house -- each theater in the complex seats under 400 people. by the way, the restroom graffitti is a whole bunch of those "snapple real facts" like you get in the bottlecaps. our destination was the Jerry Orbach theater. fitting, as the show we saw was the fantasticks -- Orbach was the first to play El Gallo when the show opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in 1960 (it ran until 2002, and was revived at the snapple in 2006.) we had really really good seats. we were sitting in the first and second rows. right next to the orchestra pit. this is a sweet little romantic comedy, with the emphasis on "comedy". the show opens with El gallo singing the signature song "Try to Remember". all of the girls we brought to the theater are Broadway fans. in fact, Crystal is going to major in theater in college in September, Emily takes acting and voice lessons, etc., so we thought they'd love the play. but the "bonus" of course, was Anthony Federov, former American Idol contestant, in the roll of The Boy. every one of the girls in our party swore Anthony was looking right at her while he was singing. and then Jen became part of the show! she was sitting in the front row, on the aisle. at one point El Gallo dropped his hat into her lap. then he asked her to return the hat. Crystal told Jen "throw it to him!" she did, but the hat landed at his feet. he quipped "You must pitch for the Yankees." after the show, the girls decided to wait for Federov at the stage door. it was well worth the wait, Federov made Becca feel like Cinderella at the ball. he signed autographs and took pictures with all the girls. then he KISSED Becca. and he SANG to her -- "Happy Birthday Rebecca", Jen taped the audio on her phone and Erica did a video on her phone, which Erica is going to post on her facebook. afterwards I thanked him for making Becca's night so special.(Lord help me, now what do I do for Jen's birthday in November? ) of course, all the girls loved Becca's M & M footwear, so we had to stop at the MM & M store on our way back to the garage. and I had to run across the street to the Hershey Store. I bought some Hershey Kisses. we stopped at the Marriot Marquis (nicest public ladies' room in the theater district.) and that's when I gave Becca the chocolate and called it "birthday Kisses" (yeah, I know, too cute.) then we piled into the cars and drove home. Becca told me "this was the best birthday ever!"