This was one of those weekends that was non-stop action, to where returning to work on Monday morning allows you to sit back, take a deep breath, and relax a little bit. That's not a bad thing, mind you; just the sign of a busy weekend.
Saturday started off with the normal clarinet lesson for me, then was followed by my vision meeting with the assistant directors of my chorus. My first six month contract is up at the end of December, and there will be a vote to retain me at that point. I'm not worried about it - we've had a great six months - but it is important to have meetings every once in a while with my fellow leaders and make sure that everything is still heading in the correct manner.
The meeting went uneventfully, which is how these sorts of things should go. I've discovered, as I've been learning about leadership, that when you actively involve people, show interest and respect for their opinions, and try to help them develop their talents and interests, they tend to enjoy working with you and want to contribute to the cause. It helps when you surround yourself with motivated, intelligent, and talented individuals.
Following the meeting, we had a birthday party with some friends of ours, for their four year old son. They are really cool people who live in an awesome house, and their son is a nice kid. It was neat watching him and Little Bear play cars together; they had some really nice moments of sharing with each other. I love watching Little Bear play with other kids. He's a different person around other people than he is around his older brother, and I find that incredible to see. He really tries to be considerate and cooperative with the other kids, to an extent that he rarely shows around his brother. I know that's normal sibling rivalry, but it does remind me of watching my brothers and I interact with each other and with our friends. The party also had an amazing buffalo chicken chip-dip.
Afterwards, my wife's siblings, most of the significant others, and us went to Bucca Di Beppo to celebrate Grandma's birthday. That is the family-style serving restaurant, which was exactly what I wanted after eating great party food. Don't get me wrong; the food was pretty amazing, and I'm taking some of it for lunch for the next day or two. I just didn't want to stuff myself too full. It was a great time, though, and lots of great companionship and conversation flew around the table. The boys behaved themselves quite nicely, which is saying something extraordinary for a two hour dinner party. Bedtime followed immediately upon coming home.
Today, the boys were up for a nice 6am breakfast. Lucky us. We slummed around the house for much of the morning before heading to the JCC for the open gym time, as we have in four of the last five weeks. It's a lot of fun, with padded stuff on which to climb and lots of balls of different sizes with which to play. The Boy has been doing this cool dive onto a ramp right into a somersault thing, which his physical therapist will love to know! The kids do a nice job of playing with the other folks there.
Today, there was a dad with a five year old boy, whose older daughters were in swimming lessons. The Boy wanted to play with the big plastic ball that his son was using, and the older boy didn't want to share and was running away from The Boy. The Boy took it hard at first, but then decided that it was a game and spent time chasing after the older boy. This had the predictable result of The Boy getting knocked over by the ball, and I saw the father trying to figure out disciplinary action. The Boy and I laughed it off, and the two boys went off and continued their game.
It's interesting to see how parents deal with those sorts of issues, and I could tell that this dude was a little high strung. Since I'm definitely not high strung about that sort of thing (kids are kids, they bounce pretty well off of the ground, and they are going to be pains about sharing more often than not), I thought it was important to show the other parent that I didn't think it was a big deal. He visibly relaxed, and we had a nice "kids will be kids" discussion before going our separate ways.
The rest of the day highlights include taking the boys to an outdoor event where my chorus sung, except that it was indoors because of driving rain. Best part? Little Bear running up to me at their start of the last song, demanding to be held while my chorus sang. It was very cute and appropriate for a family event like that. Also, watching the ladies in my chorus pass The Baby around like a joint was pretty entertaining. Worst part? Too many people in too small of a space is never good for me, and we wound up splitting earlier than we had planned.