Today was such an unusual combination of events, yet somehow it is so natural. I started at 4am this morning going to work for a full 8 hours (I worked 8 hours in the last two weeks). It was a pleasure and I had a lot of fun. One of the younger baristas told me that I was really "rockin' it on the bar", which was nice to hear as I feel old and out of practice. The afternoon was filled with cuddling with Claire and the usual play. The babysitter came and Jared and I got to go out. First we went to a place called Staircase where I got my first tattoo. Then we went to the Seabright Brewery for the most amazing fish and chips. The tartar sauce had the perfect amount of fresh garlic. Then we went for a walk along the cliffs at Pleasure Point and got cold watching the surfers, who certainly were freezing in that water. The most amazing part of the day was when we stopped by Fins Coffee. To our surprise and complete delight there was a bluegrass band playing. Five people dressed in red and black playing old hymns. After the break they transitioned into country by way of a duet that looked like it belonged on Broadway. It was such a simple pleasure, enjoying my tea, listening to songs that were a hundred years old. To top it off, as I looked out the window there were three beautiful old "woodies" parked. What an interesting place to live. I never would have guessed that this is where I would be, but now that I am here, I love it!
Today we got to have lunch with Grace and her mom, Colleen. As we sat and chatted Grace headed to the flowers to play. She drifted farther from the table and Colleen asked her to come back closer to the table. Grace explained that she was helping the bees to pollinate. Colleen was so patient while she explained that the bees didn't need her help, they could handle the job themselves. It was a moment in time that my brain clicked. I am so busy trying to help Claire to do everything that I want her to do. Truth be told, God has the situation under control. He is so good at that stuff, just like He made the bees perfectly to help the flowers, He is perfectly caring for Claire.
Today was a day filled with small victories. Together they add up to make the most amazing of days. To start, Claire seems to sleep in the car if I play Social Distortion. To add to this victory, Jared now enjoys listening to it, so it works well. We drove down to Monterey today to beat the heat. Clarie enjoyed her sandwich in a park at a beach. It was warm, but not hot, she loves to watch people on their bicycles, it was brilliant. We proceeded to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Lightening was flashing around us as we walked in, I thought that surely we would be stuck, but no, so I consider it another victory. Claire had so much fun. She stood at the bottom on a big glass wall in awe at the hammerhead sharks and tuna above us. We went to several different exhibits and she soaked it all in. For the first time, looking more at the marine life than the people. She stood shoulder to shoulder with other little ones, Jared picking up a starfish and some kelp for her to touch. Then, was the best victory of the day, communication. We have been working on including icons in Claire's life to help her to communicate. When we left the aquarium we asked Claire to make a choice for us. I help to icons in front of her, a car and a bowl of ice cream. I asked her if she wanted to get in the car and go home or if she wanted to go to Ghiradeli and get ice cream. I even put the ice cream icon in the harder position of the two. She looked at both she thought, she grinned, she picked ice cream. We immediately proceeded to stand in line and order a big fudge sundae. While we waited she sat and saw the others enjoying their ice cream, the look of excitement and anticipation was beautiful. We then went to the car, put Social Distortion on and back to sleep it was for the little angle. I have been really trying to wrap my head around how to communicate practically with Claire. A smile and a frown are cute, but very limiting. I find myself at the end of it all, so grateful. Grateful that Claire has Rett Syndrome and that I get to see this whole other version of the world that we live in, grateful that we live in Santa Cruz and even when it's hot we can escape, grateful for the many victories that filled today. This is my first crack at blogging, so bear with me.