The girls were in elementary school and I was writing a book. Jeff was doing the corporate thing, both of us pedaling as fast as we could….sometimes in the same paddle boat, sometimes in different boats. Hard to keep track sometimes. There were lots of dinners out and functions.
“A ‘FUNction’,” said Ariel, “Is a work party that is probably not any FUN.”
From a very young age Ariel had powers of insight.
Our home in Texas was leased out and we were “on assignment” in California, where the home we were renting had a “for sale” sign in front and I got frequent last minute calls about showings. Life was more than a touch stressful.
Jeff and I talked often, sometimes multiple times a day. Jeff’s only brother was very ill. What was up with our move? Jessamyn’s Girl Scout leader was planning a camping trip on Catalina. Ariel wouldn’t stop talking about getting a dog.
But this call was different. “I got tickets to Cirque du Soleil for tonight,” said Jeff. “It’s a special performance and Elizabeth Taylor is going to be there.”
“Okay,” my enthusiasm about another solo parenting evening not so well camouflaged. “Who are you going to be taking?”
“You and the girls!” he said.
Amazing how fast the emotions can whipsaw. A normal evening in some ways—the family of four goes to the circus– and in other ways so special we all still remember it.
Yes, Elizabeth Taylor was there doing fundraising for AIDS. We tried to explain to the girls why she was so famous. Dustin Hoffman also. Remember him holding a child on his shoulders, the toddler holding on for dear life to his hair.
But mainly remember how nice it was—how nice it IS—to have time together.