This past weekend was a full one. Joe's parents were up from Arizona to celebrate Joe's Dad's 70th birthday, see family and last night, we all watched Amanda's last youth symphony concert of the season. The birthday party was held at a pizza place with a great buffet. Ben thought the buffet was very cool, especially when he discovered he could get up and down from our table to scout out food for himself. At one point, he used the tongs to bring some croutons back to our table, and run and put the tongs back! haha! It was fun being with just Joe, Ben and I, as the girls were taking part in a large youth event that night. We knew that they would get to see Nana and Papa at the concert (and out for dinner afterwards), so we let them attend the youth event (as Amanda was playing her violin there also).
Now that Ben is seven, he was trying to figure out "who was who" at the party. He kept asking me, "Is that my uncle?" "Is that my cousin?" So, I would explain everything to him. I think he loved the idea of being around his extended family. Don't we all long for that sense of belonging? Anyway, he got to rough house a little with his Uncle Jim afterwards, which any time Ben gets to play rough with a guy - he is in Heaven.
The concert last night was one of the best we'd ever heard. Now you must know that Amanda has been part of the Tacoma Youth Symphony for four years. It its one of the largest youth symphonies in the country. She is in the top group, which is made of mostly juniors and seniors in high school. I'm telling you-they sound professional! And, last night, there was a piano solo for one piece and a violin solo for another. Joe's Dad was so emotional over it, because he used to be a concert pianist and coronet player when he was in college. Another special treat for him was a brass ensemble. Anyway, we paid the extra bucks and we all sat in the balcony this time so we could see Amanda well. It was the most wonderful experience. I wish I could explain in words how awesome it was. It truly brought you to tears, it was so good!
Amanda was so thankful to her grandparents for coming and seeing her play in the concert. It means a lot to all of my kids when their family makes the effort to see them do what they do. Amanda, in particular, has worked so hard this year, and she was so appreciative of her Papa and Nana being there. I know she's glad that we come to all of her concerts, but I think it makes her feel even more special when there are other family members taking the time to make her feel important and loved.
We went out for Mexican food after the concert, and I think the kids enjoyed being with their grandparents a little longer. It doesn't take a whole lot to let kids know that they're loved and special, and they sure know what it is when it does or doesn't happen. I appreciate the kids' Papa and Nana for the things that they do for my kids to let them know that they're thinking of them on their special days and occasions. My kids will always carry that with them, and I'm so glad.