Monday, November 14, 2011

good days

{First: thank you everyone for your kind comments, offers of congratulations, and well-wishes about our baby! We are so happy and it makes it even better to have friends share our happiness with us!}

Yesterday was a good day. In part it was a good day simply because I had looked forward to it for so long. It was the day of a school orchestra concert, which just so happened to be the final day in a straight month of grueling 13-14 hour days of school, teaching, rehearsals, and gigs that seemed endless. I was just so very weary and ready to have a morning where I could sleep in, or an evening to be home with Nathan. So yesterday was good because it meant an end to the extreme craziness, and a new beginning of weeks where I actually will have some time to study, practice, and even rest.

I had a 2-hour morning dress rehearsal in Cambridge, and then during the break before the concert, Melissa and Roman and I walked to Felipe's taqueria in Harvard Square for lunch. I had the best burrito: refried beans, salsa verde, onions and cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce. I would seriously consider driving to Cambridge just to have another one, it was that good.

Then it was back to Sanders Theatre for the concert: Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Prokofiev's g minor violin concerto, and Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique. A good program. I particularly love that violin concerto, especially the second movement and the way Prokofiev can make you catch your breath with an unexpected change of rhythm or harmony in a beautiful phrase.

My friend Mackenzie, who is a student at Harvard, came to the concert. I was so happy to get to see her. I used to babysit for Mackenzie when she was just a little girl, and now she's a sophomore at Harvard! I told her our baby news and we enjoyed the idea of having her babysit for my own baby in the near future, and what a lovely coming-round of things that would be.

After the concert, Mackenzie offered her nearby dorm room as a place for us to sit and chat, so we walked there together. Harvard yard is closed off right now with security guards at the gates checking IDs and only allowing Harvard students through, because of the "Occupy Harvard" movement going on in the yard. Mackenzie and I took the long way around, and walked past demonstrators chanting at the gates. I could see the tents set up in the yard, too.

It was fun to get to see where she lives. The houses at Harvard have so much character, especially the older ones. Hers has stone steps and window nooks to die for. We talked for a while -- an hour, maybe -- before I had to head home. Mackenzie is one of those people who is just such a delight to be around that I always find the corners of my mouth hurting from so many genuine happy smiles.

Mackenzie developed severe stomach problems after doing medical work in Africa a couple of summers ago and has been on a feeding tube for about a year now. Can you imagine not eating food or drinking anything for a year? She is such a good sport about it and remains determined to continue in her premed program at Harvard and someday return to Africa. And she's keeping up with all her classes even while she continues to have medical testing done.

It was great to spend time with her, and I hope we can do so again soon.

One of her roommates snapped a photo for us before I left. (Please ignore my wind-blown hair and overall disheveled appearance.)

So yesterday was good. Today was pretty good, too. I stayed in bed until about 10 am, at which point I got up and actually felt well enough to make cinnamon muffins. The first time I've baked or done much in the kitchen in I don't know how long. Then I measured, ironed, and blind-hemmed bro-in-law Andrew's new tux pants for him before teaching six lessons and conducting my kids' orchestra.

And tonight I was done with work by 7:30. An evening at home! Amazing.

The best part about today? I didn't throw up all day. And while I've had waves of nausea and queasiness throughout the day, it's been so much better than the past nine weeks or so have been. (More on that later.) I am hoping that this is the dawn of a new era.

I'm sitting on the couch drinking my homemade version of a London Fog: earl grey tea, coconut milk, and honey.

And life seems more manageable than it has seemed in a long, long time.

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