Saturday, April 4, 2009

Busy Saturdays

Today was both an ordinary and an unusual Saturday. We regularly wake up early to get to ballet or to see Maya's accompanist; today she had a date with Jake, her accompanist, in the hopes of preparing for an audition later in the day for first versus second violin in her orchestra. After an hour with Jake and Maya practiced ballet for two and a half hours. I rushed home to pick Tara up ( she is visiting from New York) and we almost did not make it to a 90 minute power yoga class. It was wonderful to stretch and sweat and relax before I dropped Tara off at home while I sped back to Maya to feed her lunch at the local art gallery where they did not take my credit card and I did not have my ATM card to get money. The woman behind the counter knows me and agreed to feed us and I promised to bring the money in later. Maya's next stop was her orchestra practice and after dropping her off, I scrambled to get home to find my ATM card. Tara decided to join me for coffee near the music school where I met my friend Emily, whose son is taking a sculpture class at MICA, the local art school. I have not seen Emily for weeks because our schedules are too jampacked most of the time so there was much to catch up on. Before we knew it, I had to cut off the conversation and leave to pick up Maya, but when we arrived just in time, we learned that she had been asked to join a special master class on musical creativity. She is the youngest in the class and looked scared when I left her, but Tara had an appointment by 4 in the northern part of the city and I left Maya for the time it takes me to drop Tara off at her appointment and drive back ( should be an hour but takes me far less!). When I returned, feeling guilty that I had not stayed to support her,which I would have done if I could, Maya looked comfortable playing her violin with a sea of other violinists, cellists, and other musicians and when she was done, she found a friend who happens to attend the same school as Maya and take violin and ballet at Peabody as well. So much in common! I met Florence's mother and we discussed a play date and exchanged email addresses and moved on to discuss finding a violin teacher in Ecuador. I was introduced to a cellist who knows many musicians in Latin America and I gave her my email as well. I remembered that I have a great photo of Maya and her friend Florence from the concert they played together in a year ago and I promised myself I will find it and shar it with her. The day was not over yet, because I had to drive back north to catch up with Tara after her appointment and I waited in the waiting area of an office without internet, but tapped away at the computer while Maya watched a movie on my iphone.

I have done very little today and yet I am exhausted. I have driven the length of the city several times. I am still sore from the stretching this morning and have not had the time to shower or change and I can taste the salt on my skin and I am not sure if I smell. A bath sounds wonderful, but it is unlikely that will happen. I would like to read a book and enjoy a bubble bath.....that is sounding better and better as I wait for Tara.

Finally by 6 PM we were heading home, but we stopped at Blockbuster for movies and Pei Wei for take-out, a few items at the drugstore, and then dinner, walking Elmer who is depressed and lonely since Pippi died, a bubble bath that was too cold and turned into a shower, movies, lots of chocolate cookies which Tara baked, some clean-up and bed....

I do not expect that my Saturdays will be anything like today when we are living in Quito. I wonder what a typical weekend will be like. I am determined NOT to get caught in the whirlwind of activities on Saturdays and Sundays that is entrenched in our lives in Baltimore. I want weekends to be our time to explore the city and the countryside and get out of this habit of overcomitment and overactivity which most of hte parents I know get involved in. We want our children to be able to pursue their interests, so we sign them up for all sorts of classes and suddenly there is no time for play or quiet or reflection. I do not remember doing this as a child, and when Tara was small I insisted on skiing every weekend in the winter, so I did not plan anything on Saturdays. We actually went to church every Sunday morning, followed by brunch with friends we saw every week and then skiing. Church was a must in Salt Lake City, because the prevailing Mormon religion is so dominating, if one does not stake a claim so some sort of faith, they are relentless in their prosytelizing. When I claimed myself Catholic, I was told that I worshiped Satan and the locals kept a wide berth. Rather bizarre. Now that we live in Baltimore, institutionalized religion is more of a personal choice rather than a survival tool in a fundamentalist culture. I guess that sounds harsh, but I had no desire to convert to Mormonism. Ecuadorians are 90% Catholic and many attend church regularly, but most of the Ecuadorians I know do not. I cannot imagine that I will be attending, there are too many other distractions for us when we are there.

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