One of the most surprising and wonderful things about life is how long it is. I know, I know -- it's short as well, but when you're in the middle of living it, it does seem to last a while. Bob walked into the flat this morning and said, "The post man is 12." He's not really 12 I'm sure, but when you're in your mid-40's, 25 looks a lot like absurdly young. Of course it doesn't look like that to a 25 year old, or to a 20 year old for that matter.
A few weeks ago our family flew to Stuttgart to visit a friend. She wasn't quite a friend when we got there, although she certainly is now.
Daisy Long is 20 years old, and a ballerina in the Stuttgart Ballet. She is one of the very few, among the many, who has made it to the ranks of elite in the world of ballet. She was accepted into Stuttgart's program as a student when she was 16, and two years later was asked to join the corps as a professional. Extraordinary!
What's maybe even more extraordinary to Bob and I is that we used to babysit Daisy when she was the very small daughter of our friends Chris and Erin, back when we all looked more like our 12 year-old postman. I have a picture of a tow-headed three-year-old Daisy, clomping around in my cowboy boots. I have memories of when we all went to Mexico together for Thanksgiving one year. I remember thinking how brave Chris and Erin were to travel to Mexico with their young one.
Daisy is a remarkable talent, but also a wonderful person. We all had such a fun time together! We spent a few days eating pastries and drinking warm drinks at various cafes, watching the snow fall outside, and then, the night before we left, we went to see Daisy dance in Onegin. Oh My!! What an evening! The kids were rapt, and peppered us with questions during each Intermission. Owen absorbed it like a sponge - eyes wide, mouth open, still as a pin in his seat. Eleanor couldn't stop dancing. She danced in the lobby, she danced in the snow on the way home, I think she danced in her sleep that night. While we were waiting to see Daisy afterwards, Owen realized he'd forgotten his gloves in his seat, and when he and Bob came back from fetching them he was glowing. An usher had taken them backstage! Owen had seen the stage crew moving scenery!
The whole evening was enchanting. My children were enchanting. The warm and lively cafes in cold, grey Stuttgart was enchanting. We can't wait to see Daisy again.