18 January 2014

Random acts.

This morning, we met some friends at Frosty's for donuts, coffee, and shenanigans. Frosty's has two huge windows that overlook the busy main street in Brunswick.  The plastic old-time booths are pushed against a giant step that allows kids to play right up against the windows, complete with play kitchen and of course, play donuts.  You and cutie pie gal pal, Avery, wasted no time getting to work making her mommy and me special sprinkly donuts.  

Soon the noise level in Frosty's reached epic proportions as you and Avery were saying hello and waving to not only every person that came into the shop, but every person that walked by and looked in the window! 

Naturally, our first instincts were to shush you and remind you to use your 'inside' voices. But then we started really watching the reactions of the people who you were shouting hello to.   We watched some ladies giggle and wave back as they continued their stride down the street; we watched the man who brought his face right up to the window right back at you and made googly eyes at the two of you, causing you to dissolve into hysterical giggles; we watched you do this to college kids, hipsters, moms, dads, and basically all of the random people who patron this shop or have to walk by it at 8:45 on a Saturday morning.

One man, however, sticks out in my memory.  He was an elderly gentleman, grizzled weathered features, shuffling his way to Frosty's exit.  You and Avery were desperately trying to get his attention, waving and saying hellooooo! helloooo! He looked our way...unsmiling, and Avery's momma and I mutually thought, uh oh...not everyone goes for these 'cute' 3 year old antics...and then something kind of sweet happened.  He raised an arthritic gnarled hand and gave you both a wave...and then a tiny grin.  The tiny grin turned into a full on smile.  And as he walked out of the shop and past the windows, you all continued to wave and smile until the next person came along and captured your interest.

It was then that Avery's mom told me a story about a recent fatal accident that happened involving a young preschool teacher and how the surrounding community is dealing with it by trying to perform random acts of kindness as that is something this woman would have appreciated and how she lived her own life.  

So there in that moment, we thought...maybe my rascal boy with his Eyeore hat and gap-toothed smile, and her sweet girl, with a pretty bow in her adorable blond hair, giving grins and giggles to passersby, causing them to beam and wave and waggle their eyebrows back...was our way of giving someone or many someones just a little bit of joy today. Instead of feeling exasperated at the mischievous antics, we took the time to watch and enjoy the reactions, realizing that little kids being, well, little kids, can sometimes make even the crustiest curmudgeon a bit more cheerful.

It also reminded me of our recent Disney adventure, and watching the most grown up of grownups be transformed into wonder-filled children again, embraced by the magic and fairy tale of it all.  How in one place, the cynical, jaded, harsh realities of the world fade away into oblivion and are replaced by awe and amazement.

I came away from this little jaunt today feeling like we need to do better.  Be better parents, better friends, better partners, better siblings, better sons and daughters, better coworkers--set better examples. It's so easy to be negative but takes real effort to be positive and project that into someone else's life.   My three and a half year old showed me that today.

15 January 2014

The Finale.

After 12 hours spent at Disney, and all of us collapsing into bed when we finally got home that night, we knew that Saturday, our last day, was going to spent poolside and relaxing. The weather was looking promising, although windy.  I think we all slept in until 8...late for us on this vacation, and headed into town for breakfast and last minute souvenir and snacks-for-the-plane shopping.

Then finally, we were lounging by the pool, and hot tub, or as you call it, the "hot pool".  I tried hard to think about the harsh winter iciness that would await us upon returning.  I'm pretty sure you enjoyed yourself.

After swimming the morning away, we drove over to the Disney Boardwalk, near Epcot.  Another beautiful spot, less crowded, and perfect for relaxing.  I can only imagine how alive this place must come at night, but for us, it was an ideal spot for lunching and exploring.

On the other side of the boardwalk was a small beach...sugary, velvet sand crushing underfoot.  You delighted in chasing gulls.

Our last night was spent once again in Downtown Disney.  One more shot of you and Pooh...good dinner at celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez' Crossroads at the House of Blues restaurant, and then an early bedtime because of our early departure. 

We awoke at 3am...checked to make sure everything was packed, and all the while you slept serenely. When it was time to wake you, you were a trooper.  You got dressed, slung your Lightening McQueen backpack on your shoulders, and hefted your way to the car.  You chugged your way through the airport, turning heads with your little stride, wide awake at 5am, in a strange airport.  You couldn't have been any better, so thank you. Thank you for making traveling easy! The flights were uneventful, albeit turbulent. (I do not wish to discuss THAT part of the trip as it's definitely the least fun)  We arrived in Manchester, NH just after 10:30am, finally got out and to the car by noon and made our way home. A quick lunch stop in Portsmouth, and then the lonnng sleepy trek back to home.  You slept the whole ride and into the afternoon.  Our vacation may be over, but the memories linger.  It was the most fun we've had in a long time and I hope it's a trip you remember for a long time, but if not, we have these posts to remind ourselves while we wait for the next time.  There'll definitely be a next time.