love and family

Well, the holidays are officially over for me, in my head of heads anyway. The gifts are all opened and the visits to various arms of the family tree are all done. Our last visit was yesterday to visit the birth family on New Years Day first at Great Grandparents Alice & Jack’s house, then to the Willson house for games and dinner. It was a full day leaving here at 9 in the morning and returning at 9pm and Calliope, once again, was the winner all around. Love from all sides and corners, places both dark and light, was showered upon her in ways you wouldn’t believe if you saw it with your own eyes. I can’t paint the picture clearly enough, but I might give a small glimpse into the world where Calliope has been brought to by this uncommon family via two gifts that we received. Not that presents are everything, but it is an easy way to convey some of what I feel today.
When we got home last night, Calliope was up way past her bedtime, so we (Michael) immediately put her to bed. She had a long day and didn’t fight it too much and before I could unload the burden of pack-n-plays, gifts and general kid travel gear from the car, she was well on her way to dream heaven. Michael has been under the weather and I had an asthma attack yesterday (boy do i feel old typing this sentence) so we were both exhausted. But we couldn’t go straight to bed and decided to flip through our new photo album we received from the Willsons. Well, its not really a photo album so much as a scrapbook and it basically covers Calliope (and us, and all our friends and family that have been around alot) through the last year. Its truly amazing, every page crafted with love and thoughtfulness. And it hits me like a ton of bricks emotionally to see everything we have already been through as a family summed up in this one book. And this is only the last year. There is yet another one that covers the first year and a half and frankly I thought this one would be less inspirational or at least yank less of my emotional cords. But no, I cry if I think about it for longer than two seconds. Its beautiful and I can’t believe we are so lucky… It was a nice way to end the day and we were able to go to bed rested and feeling good about the new year to come. Here’s a sample page of the scrapbook…
This morning was a different story. Still very positive, and moving too, but via humor. One of the gifts that was given specifically to Michael and Calliope was a book. Calculus for infants! The Willsons are a math family. Grandma Dianne is a Math Teacher and all the kids are fluent in math speak. While math was always my best subject in grade school, I barely started trig before I left high school in TX for a GED in San Francisco. And that was my last bit of training in the field of math… I don’t remember any of it. It was a perfect gift for Michael and Calliope though. They will have years of fun that will be between the two of them, being geek father and geek daughter. I picked up the book this morning and read it and by the 7th page was baffled and laughing hysterically all at the same time. The truth is she won’t get much of this stuff about derivatives and being absolute and/or boundless for years to come, but I would bet a million dollars it will be years before the average bloke. If you speak the language to them, they will learn. Its the same as our thoughts on adoption. It will not be a question to her because it is her existence. Its not hidden knowledge that is lurking behind the next corner waiting to be learned. Obviously, we can’t teach her the language of all things, but you can bet that math, self confidence (fashion) and adoption will be three of the ones at the top!