Just As I Thought

Relax… play with some blocks

I made a very wise decision to just fly off for a three-day vacation. I tried to justify it by telling myself that I would work on Sara’s DVD – business, you know. And while we did sit down and go through it, making notes and figuring out what what missing, the DVD work was often interrupted by Lily, Iolana, and Eva as they played, painted, and bounced around. Surprisingly, it was bliss.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a more relaxing, smiley vacation, and that surprises me. I certainly don’t think of myself as a guy who really likes kids all that much, being a pretty dour bachelor and all; but you know – kids seem to like me, and I like them. Perhaps it’s because I don’t often meet kids as joyous and loving as the ones I met this week. Happy kids make me happy, too.
dawn.jpgSo, let’s see. A recap: yesterday I spent the day with Sara, her beautiful, fun (and mermaid reminiscent) assistant Dawn (who was celebrating her birthday!) and Iolana, Sara’s 3-year-old wacky daughter. Lunch, and then loading up a storage locker with the first pressing of Sara’s new CD for kids, “Big Kid” which was released yesterday! (I still have the song “Iolana” running through my head as I sit here on the plane — I defy anyone to be unhappy with that song playing in their brain. “Iolana do you wanna put ona your pajamas and go to the store with me?” Go ahead. Try. See? You can’t! Pick up “Big Kid” now. That’s an order. Speaking of an order, all Just As I Thought readers must order a Sara CD by clicking HERE!)

gene-io.jpgAnyway. How cool! I got the first CD out of the box, and it’s brilliant and fun – even for adults. And so sweet – right inside the liner notes is my name with a little message – I’m the biggest kid of all. smile
Then, downtown to Sara’s recording studio to drop off discs and meet people, and off to pick up oldest daughter Lily from school – a cool school – where they have a garden walk like a jungle, a little holistic cafe in the back, and an aviary with beautiful birds.
Whew! I went back to the very hip Hotel San Jose for a little rest, and then up to street for a big, fun dinner to celebrate her latest CD triumph, and to Amy’s for ice cream as performance art – not content to scoop it, the ice cream artisan pounds it into submission, smooshes a handful of peanut M&Ms into it, rolls it into a ball, then Whhop! Up into the air it sails, to land in your cup.
I could only eat half of it, because the chocolate was so dense it was like snacking on a black hole. Not even light could escape.
This morning, who should knock at my door but my bestest pal Sara, and it was off to breakfast at a neat hole-in-the-wall a stone’s throw from the Texas Capitol (hint – stand in the center of the Capitol rotunda and sing. Amazing acoustics), then an hour or so of wandering through wild antique stores and chotcke shops, laughing all the way. Really. My cheeks are so sore from laughing and smiling the last 3 days. Off to pick up Io from preschool – where she showed off her basil plant (or as she called it, a bagel plant… she also has coined a new word which I intend to use from now on: instead of yesterday, she calls it “lasterday,” which makes MUCH more sense, really).
Back to hang out in the office with Dawn, yummy grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and the rest of the day spent playing with blocks and generally being three years old. I may not have seen the regular touristy sights in Austin, but I did see an enormous castle made of blocks with a friendly dragon living on the top of it.
You know, my family loves me and I love them, but we are just NOT like this. It was a very different experience for me to be brought into this family with a big hug, and it was so joyous and uplifting. How amazing to be among people who truly value happiness, and work hard to spread it around to friends and strangers alike. Those are feelings that I so rarely encounter, and I was so grateful and happy to be there with them, included in all their joy.

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