Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Joys of Children

 As I mentioned, Loren's niece, Sara Ridder, and her three children arrived Friday evening, and what a difference it has made.  They are delightful children, and their energy is contagious.

Annie is 11, a serious,
responsible young lady who is helping her grandmother navigate her new computer.

Emily is 9, and is a fount of information which she readily shares.  She is also the fashionista of the group, and she is always looking very stylin'.

Ben is 6 and takes advantage of having two loving older sisters that dote on him.  If he doesn't choose to be a stand-up comic when he grows up, he can certainly do it as a side job whenever things get tough.

The amazing thing about these children are their eating habits.

Annie is a vegetarian;  Emily will eat no fruit or vegetable;  Ben will eat everything and anything!  I marvel at how well these siblings get along, and the equanimity of their mother, but I can't imagine trying to cook a meal for them!

Children have a way of changing "stodgy" routines.  It had been my wont to go down to the pool after lunch, lather on my suntan oil, do a crossword puzzle or two, read my book, take a nap, and take a short dunk in the pool when I got hot enough.

Yesterday, Ben lured me in, and I actually stayed in the water for quite a while playing "find the goggles."

And laughter abounds with these children around!  The funniest times are after dinner when we retire in to the salon for coffee.  That's when Emily and Annie put headbands around our heads and place a card in a slot at the front of each band.We go around the circle asking questions to try and figure out who or what we are.  It is quite hysterical, and provides wonderful evening entertainment for all.

Yesterday, Loren and I set out with no destination in mind, and we had a lovely adventure.  After coming here for eighteen years, there is a familiarity to the place.  We know the lay of the land; we can easily navigate the taxis and pesos, we know where the post office is and how to purchase stamps, the Zocolo is our stomping ground, and my Spanish serves me well enough.  But, as I mentioned to Loren yesterday, despite the familiarity, there is still a wonderful "foreignness" to Cuernavaca. 

First of all, the plethora and richness of the vegetation and flowers constantly assault your senses. 

 Although most of the large, beautiful houses hide behind very tall walls, there are some charming structures that dot the narrow roadways.

And of course, coming from San Francisco, where there's very little that predates the gold rush,  there is an antiquity about the place that exudes charm.  Old churches invite you in where you might see beautiful wood carvings or ancient sculptures or stunning stained glass windows.

And the colors....oh the colors!

The Mexicans love their colors, and you can't help but be uplifted as you stroll through the town.  Store windows showcase princess gowns for that special 16th birthday celebration; balloons and pinatas are being hawked throughout the streets, and the small children are dressed in clean pressed "Sunday Bests."

This afternoon, we are planning to go to the circus.  It is the oldest circus in Mexico, and it will be really fun to see a real Mexican circus.  I am reminded of when my parents used to take us to the Barnum & Bailey Circus every year in NYC where we got painted turtles and chameleons.  I think they are now banned in the States as being inhumane.  Do you think we'll see them for sale in Cuernavaca?

I will post this now, but stay tuned for the report from the Circus!

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