It was not the best Thanksgiving on record but I can't complain too much.
First, let me back up to yesterday: we got Charlotte fitted for a larger stroller so we are now set for Disney and all our travels. In addition, all our travel documents and Make-A-Wish stuff arrived in the mail on Wednesday. We will have a limo picking us up at 6:45 AM on next Tuesday to whisk us off to the airport. We are already getting a tentative itinerary together for the friends and family who want to meet up with us while we are in Florida. I'm finally getting excited about the trip.
After Charlotte was fitted for the stroller, we actually managed to stop by Three Oaks Montessori to visit some of her friends. We needed to come by to sign the incorporation papers for CJSTUF (thanks and kudos to Kim for pulling all of this together in little or no time!) so Charlotte got to spend a little time with some old buddies. She was welcomed very warmly by the girls who knew her from her old school.
Later, we had some more visitors at home. Anja and Meredith came over for a playdate and finished watching Mary Poppins with Charlotte. They also shared a LOT of strawberries. Yum. Soon afterwards, her old teacher Ms. Christy (from the "Montessori House") came by for a very nice visit. She brought tons of books for Charlotte to borrow and read as well as a bottle of wine to share with me and Roger. We had a lovely evening socializing and Charlotte got to spend some very quality time with Christy.
My emotions have been all over the place the last few days. Mostly I'm just sad and the smallest thing can make it worse. Right now it's very difficult for me to be around other kids sometimes. I guess that's a good reason not to be back at work right now. I'll also see stuff on TV or in other places that will just spark something and then I'm a basket case (darn those St. Jude's Childrens Hospital commericals!). It is so bizarre to me to think that last year at this time, I would see something like that and think, "Oh, what a good cause." and now all I can think is, "That's MY kid!" It is truly strange to be on the receiving end of charities such as those and then see commercials or hear plugs for them in the mass media. You realize how important they are. The first time I realized it was back in March or April. I was at Costco and they were doing a fund drive fro the Children's Miracle Network. They did the standard plug, asking for a $1 donation to benefit the Children's Miracle Network at MCV. I normally do these things anyway but it was then that I realized: this benefits MY kid! I heard a plug today during the Macy's Parade for Ronald McDonald Children's Charities as well and it brought back all kinds of memories.
When I think of these things, I am reminded of that which I am truly grateful. It is a bittersweet Thanksgiving and I am pretty sure my mood won't change much by the end of the year. You might think it would be difficult to find a lot to be thankful for right now. I am grateful, though, for friends, family, and the extended family that we have built this year. Our network is wide and strong and it is the foundation on which I rest day in and day out. Without this network, I would be a blubbering fool hiding under the bed. I am grateful for the time that I have with my precious girl and I am grateful for my sweet husband who tolerates me and all my quirks.
The bulk of the day was very relaxing. We watched the Macy's parade and then Roger, Charlotte, Kolbey, and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was simple, inexpensive, and nobody had to cook or clean up. Everyone was happy. We came home and the boys and Charlotte watched footbal while I caught up on some paperwork and computer stuff. Charlotte had another marathon eating day. She took lots of laps around the house (with our encouragement and help) and, of course, read quite a few books.
Tomorrow I am actually going to work for a little bit. I'm leading a birthday party so wish me luck! This should be interesting.
Roger is currently downloading a lot of our old video of Charlotte into the computer for editing. I can't tell you how mixed my emotions are when I watch these old clips of her. She was so tiny! And it was easy to see from such an early age how smart she was...how much she just LOVED to learn. I think every other film clip has her reading or singing or jibber-jabbering in that sweet little voice. I'm glad that we have these memories.
Time for bed. Good luck to all you crazy shoppers out there! Take it easy.