Sunday, August 04, 2002

Progress is a Blessing

It is time for a pool update. Not the neighbor's pool, which is nice, but our pool in progress. We have coping; the bricks that trim the perimeter of the pool. Tomorrow I think they will return to grout the bricks and then set the tiles at the water line. It looks pretty, even in this incomplete stage. Well, that is it. There is no set completion date; bummer it won't be this weekend. But we are close. And it is still hot. Do not lose faith. Go to Target. Goggles, ear plugs, floaties and trunks are on sale now!

Last week Nacho and Victor amended and tilled all around the house. This is very exciting stuff. It smells like expectation. It looks like anticipation. It is irrigated, graded, drained, fertilized and raked. Sod comes on Wednesday! And trees and shrubs come even sooner than that, which implies Tuesday, or even Monday, which means tomorrow! This is awesome, even though they are still asking me if I want azaleas or Queen palms (I love nearly all plants, but I don't need them all to be in our yard.) Nacho told Victor, "She doesn't like normal plants." Actually, I don't like the plants you would normally see in every southern California apartment complex; been there, done that. But, I digress. This will be a very fun week. Busy and fun.

The fun revolves around more than our yard; it includes all the preparations for Grandma's 80th birthday celebration. Beto and his daughter, Aurora, are flying in from Guadalajara tomorrow. And other family will be coming from Colorado, Santa Cruz and Lompoc, and my Mom is here from Oregon. Thursday we are going out to dinner. Friday we are grilling and having a casual evening. And then Saturday is when we have the big deal. There will be a big lunch, and a small band, and big desserts, and a small dinner, and a little dancing, and 'stuff.' Mom and I were working on logistics (how many chairs, tables, cakes etc.) and with a sly wink, Grandma said, "I just want to know; where are we going to put all of my presents?" Details are always so important.

Yesterday we celebrated Max's 4th birthday. It was a simple party, but full of joy. Good friends were on hand, and we played in to the night. He is our youngest child, and there have been some incidences that have tested our spirits and challenged our expectations. I am grateful for his health and his words and his skills and his affection. It is not enough to be happy for his ten toes and thick head of hair, because, sometimes, fate can erase the very things that we come to expect when our children are born healthy and full of promise. Last year our lives were shaken by an allergic reaction Max experienced and by the realization of all we stood to lose. Sometimes we lose a treasure, and if we find it again, it is even more dear. This birthday was more than a celebration of an older boy; we celebrated his expressions, and his hugs, the way he greets each new day, his drawings and songs, the way he calls "hey, brothers!" and his audacious persistence. The joy has no words. The gratitude is constant.

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