Gummi Bears

I’m blessed with my very own gummi bears.

Bea-Bear!
Bouncin’ here and there
And everywhere!
That’s our Bea-Bear!!”

August-Bear!
Bouncin’ here and there
And everywhere!
That’s our August-Bear!!”

And so that’s how mornings in Tampa start during December days. As much as I love Taylor, he doesn’t sing when I wake up. Maybe I need to earn the songs? We have music playing 24/7 in the bay, but I realize now that I’ve never taught him the lyrics. There’s only so much a dog can do. However, he’s a great sitter and hiker; so there’s that. Back to the present…

The gleeful sounds of children (mixed in with the occasional meltdowns) in the morning are music waking up. Indian breakfasts, questions that all begin with “why?”, aromatic Indian coffee percolating, my dad in the garden working himself to a happy sweat, and mom happily cooking in the kitchen defines the holidays for me. Even while I’m experiencing it, I want to press rewind, and relive it over and over and over again.

Yesterday was my niece’s fifth birthday, and the eighth anniversary of the moment I was hit by a car crossing the street. Times like these you get the keys to life — that one thing Curly told Mitch to figure out, amidst one-armed pushups, of course.

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again”

We drove to the park, a five minute drive, singing the gummi bears theme song the entire way. We made it through the entire family. The next hour plus was spent on a treehouse and swings and slides. I was happily taking pictures joining in on the festive fracas. Later we would goto an outlet mall. Bea would have a “birthday cake” ice cream in a cone. We would have some coffee. (Don’t try the ice coffee from Nestle Tollhouse; it’s beyond horrible.) We would drop pennies in the fountain. Even later in the day, we met the neighbor’s kids and within minutes the kids were hugging each other. If only it were that simple. Actually, it should be.

Later this evening, my niece and I would be playing “the smiling game”. Ever heard of it? It’s quite simple, actually. We smile at each other — the bigger the better. Then we say what we’re thankful for. Then we smile even wider because no matter how wide you’re smile, you can always smile wider. It’s awesome. And it can go on for hours. We had a lot to smile about both yesterday and today.

At the moment, the kids are singing songs in the party room with their parents. Tomorrow, we’ll be at the beach. It only seems like yesterday that their mother was born, my little sister. Time flies when you’re awesome. I’m sitting under palm trees below a Tampa sun. It doesn’t look like Christmas but it sure feels like it.


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GO ADVENTURE. GO TRAVEL. GO LIVE. ALWAYS BE EPIC.


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