Surprising news, gratitude, nice dinner for one

People, it is not every day that news of your own health surprises you in a good way. Yet today I was informed that since I last visited the eye doctor seven years ago (maybe I should neglect more medical appointments), my eyesight has improved and my wimpy glasses prescription is now too strong. I now have cooler glasses that are also more effective; obviously this is a serious win-win. As such I purchased real sunglasses with polarized lenses because now that I know my eyes are so fine, I simply must do better to protect them. Just you wait, seven years from now, the damn polarization will likely have weakened my vision, just because I tried tending to it. Gah, at least these new shades won't be horribly scratched, rip my hair out and peeve me to the max every time I don them. It's the little things. Two years ago, we had one of the greatest babysitters ever. S was wonderful, loving and truly loved being with children. Then, as it goes, she moved. "Please," I begged her, "you must recommend someone who is basically just like you!" Soon enough, she sent me a name, a woman who taught at the same school as did S's boyfriend. K is not just like S -and really, this is why life is grand and fun- but then again she is: she too is wonderful, loving and truly loves being with children. I am happy to call her a friend, and I am grateful that although she now teaches full-time at a great school not close to us, she still makes time to sit and visit.

You see, as many of you likely know, parenting gets harder and harder as your kids age, NOT easier. Sure easier in some ways -no more wiping bottoms- but harder in the big ways. And as such, you really start to rely on and value that much more, the people in your kids' lives who are guiding and loving them, on a daily, weekly, monthly, whatever basis. When the kids are little, you want someone who will enjoy and engage with them, who will read and play. And you want that when they're older too, but you also want someone who commands respect, who they love but listen to, who can play but also teach. A person (or people) who is an extension of your own value system, though they may have different beliefs and ideas to share ("please do, just don't evangelize," I say).

When we met K, I was struck by her complete and utterly sincere earnestness. It just oozes from her. I then came to know of her work ethic (tremendous) and her desire to really help kids learn about various perspectives, community involvement and, simply, giving back. I know when I leave the house that the kids are not only safe but also cherished, they'll be both well fed and well nurtured, they will be accepted and also disciplined when necessary. And if that's not peace, nothing is.

I got my pedicure and visited with Yen (the most wonderful, dignified woman about whom another post will be) and then came home, restored and knowing that my zen would not be kicked to the curb upon crossing my home's front threshold. We visited for a while which is always lovely (her attention to her pedagogical strategies and skills is inspiring) and then parted ways. Thank you, K, for everything.

For me, a quiet night. My old, Tom-is-out-of-town standby, pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter, as well as some roasted veggies. I'm gonna get my crossword on and hit the sack early as I'm still hoping to rid myself of this gastric ado that's beset me. Hasta mañana!