Hello my dears. How did your week and weekend treat you? I, of course didn't get nearly as much done during my week-long hiatus as I needed to, and now it's raining, so instead of knuckling down to meet some deadlines, all I want to do is crawl back into bed.
We (a portion of my photogroup, at least) finally made it to The Grand Budapest Hotel. All I can say about it is this: go see it. I actually need to go again. The story is so captivating that I want to go back just to pay attention to Wes Anderson's spectacular imagery. I'm in love.
Our days as parents, our family life these days, revolves around the ball field. Cal plays on two teams this year, and that's kept us hopping. He plays for his school and for a rec league team. One team brings him great joy and the other, well, less so. It's a tricky balance right now. Careening from success and exaltation to frustration and dejection. Is 14 too young for a sports psychologist? (Wink) We remain ever hopeful that one will spill over into the other, the success, that is! Not the dejection. Never that. At last week's game, Neel told me about an article he saw (and heard) on NPR about the concept of hustle. It was by noted sports writer Frank Deford, and you can hear the audio here. What he says is that hustle, a word that in regular life has no real good connotations, means nothing but good in sport. That guy was a real hustler? Not good, right? The team that lost, but showed real hustle? All good. Last week, Neel counted the number of times he heard the word hustle (eight). This week we forgot to count. Our kids played a bigger, better team. They got down early, by a lot, but you know what? They stayed focused and kept their heads in the game and won. Showed a lot of hustle. High praise indeed.
Before I go, I want to draw your attention to the last picture in my collage. It's Neel, as a tiny baby, only two weeks old. He's cradled in his mom's arms and surrounded by two family friends. Neel's mom died many years ago, when he was just 14. The age Cal is now. Neel's brother got his hands on some photos and texted them to us last night, with the hard copies to follow. With his mom gone, each photo like this is an unexpected and priceless gift. I find the look on her face so serene and moving. I can't stop looking at it. Neel quietly looked at it for a long, long time last night. "She was taken away too soon."