Yesterday I went to the celebration for a colleague who will soon fly to South Korea to adopt a daughter. The girl is 18 months old, so it wasn't exactly a baby shower.
It was held at a picnic shelter at a huge community park. I thought that choice was brilliant. Many people brought their children and their dogs, and there was plenty of space. We had delicious food with Korean condiments, along with the traditional choices.
We were asked to bring a favorite child's book. I chose Amelia Bedelia, which may be responsible for the beginning of my love of language. Amelia Bedelia is the maid who takes directions literally: when asked to draw the drapes, she whips out her sketch pad and gets to work.
The weather was perfect, and I enjoyed spending time with my colleagues. I've said it many times before, but it bears repeating: I've been very lucky in every school where I've worked to have great colleagues.
In a way, being there made me feel very old: my childbearing years have come and gone. And I can scarcely imagine navigating what it would take to simply travel to South Korea, much less navigating an international adoption.
But it was also affirming in a variety of ways. In these days when the news is so often full of the bleak and the glum, here's a couple making a much better life for a little girl half a planet away. I wish them all the best, and I know they'll have plenty of support in this effort.
When I got home, I checked in on my online classes and heard the end of the local public radio show devoted to folk and acoustic music. The broadcaster said he had a tickets to see Arlo Guthrie, and if anyone was interested, to give him a call. I didn't copy down the phone number fast enough, and when I called the number on the website, I got the front desk, which told me I was calling when the office was closed.
So I wrote to the e-mail address I had for the broadcaster. In half an hour, as we were carrying the trash and recycling to the bins, the broadcaster called back--he's putting the tickets in the mail. Hurrah!
It made me remember my childhood, when my mom was always calling the radio station to win tickets or albums or t-shirts. The best thing she won was tickets to King's Dominion, a huge amusement park (like Carowinds or 6 Flags, but a bit short of Disney). We all went for free, and because it was the week-end before the last week-end, the place was deserted: no lines for rides! It was a perfect day.
I felt a bit like I was channeling my mom as I procured those tickets. Happily, she's still alive--I'll have to call and tell her.
I thought about my parents yesterday too, as I read the soon-to-be-gifted copy of Amelia Bedelia, in its anniversary edition. It came with a section that told how the story came to be. What a treat to revisit a childhood classic!
And now it's time to get ready for the week: there's day old bread and pastry to pick up from Publix, and last minute stuff to get ready for the site visit.