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"A rabbityear is quiet, giving respite after the year of the tiger."
If the ancient Chinese Zodiac is to be believed, this year will be a tranquil one. It certainly started out that way at our household, and that's just fine with me after the frenetic Christmas shopping season.
In our household we've been blessed with three young children ages 7, 5 and almost 3. To a one they are imbued with seemingly boundless energy, creativity, enthusiasm and joie de vie. Having them all at home together has demanded lots of ingenuity on the part of my wife and myself as far as keeping them entertained is concerned. We've been to play places, malls, the science center, the art center, sledding and more. By New Year's eve the parents (us) were pretty much ready for a breather. So, instead of hitting a local action packed event such as Imagineve, a non-alcoholic family spectacle of inflatable toys, dancing and fireworks, we elected to stay home, bake cookies and watch our new Berenstain Bears and Max and Ruby videos picked up at after Christmas sales, tucked safely away from the single digit temps turning the world ever more frigid outside. (besides we couldn't get a baby sitter anyway!).
There was a special daddy and daughter adventure to be enjoyed however as 5 year old Lena and I snuck away on an errand and took a diversion to the downtown 33 story Marriott to get a festive bird's eye view of the city. We were lucky to get a parking spot just a block away, as one of the great things about Des Moines is that parking is a cinch just about anywhere you go. Stepping out from our van we were greeted by a stingingly cold wind whipping through the frozen streets and skyscrapers. Leaning into it, eyes watering, we raced down the sidewalk and into the gaily lit and inviting Marriott lobby. Instantly we were in another world, a world of twenty foot Christmas trees, elegently clad New Year revelers and throngs of bridesmaids and groomsmen massed for at least three wedding parties from what I could gather.
Negotiating our way past photographers busily bundling brides and bridesmaids into picture perfect assemblages in front of fountains and cheerily festooned Christmas trees, we rode the elevator up, up, up to the 27th floor, as high as we could go without a special code. Outside the doors we were met with a spectacular view of our downtown, still adorned with Christmas lights and bustling with holiday traffic and revelers. The cars and trucks below looking much like Hexbugs the kids had just received for Christmas, an event which already seemed like a distant memory, perhaps whipped into the past by the same cold wind that hard torn at our clothes only moments prior. Lena was agog. It was the highest she had ever been in a building and she enjoyed it immensely, jumping up and down on the radiator that served as her perch to gaze out on the scene below. We were so far up it frightened me a bit to see her pressed with both palms and nose against the cold glass, even though there was no real danger. We talked in quiet voices about what we could see beneath us and about how high we were, almost whispering even though there was no one around to overhear. Perhaps we whispered out of observance of the majesty of the view, or perhaps to make the experience that much more special and adventurous.
On the way back down our elevator became packed with dapper, young party goers eager to get to the action on the lower floors. The car soon brimmed with excited chatter mixed with the smell of perfume and libations. Amid the bustling Lena drew closer and held my hand shyly. I thought about how in years past I'd been one of those New Year's celebrants, thoughts filled with champagne, crowded lounges and carousing, but now I was a husband and father of three, and those things seemed so far away. Lena looked up just then with her twinkiling brown eyes and said, "Daddy, I don't wanna go home." Who was I to resist? Although we were not part of the party scene, we were caught up in its orbit, intoxicated satellites, swooning as if we'd imbibed ourselves. After going up the elevator again several times for more city views, we finally disembarked on the 3rd floor of the mezzanine level and descended the escalators slowly down to the main floors, stopping on each level, me lifting Lena so that she might sneak glances over the railing at the merrymakers milling about below. We dawdled in our descent, neither of us really wanting the adventure to end, yet having no real reason to linger much longer. That being said however, Lena still took delight in sitting in every chair in the lobby, of which they were a great number.
Finally we made our way out again, past the concierge and valets into the frigid wind and onto the crunchy saltiness of the icy sidewalks, instantly reminded that we were still firmly in winters embrace. Our hair blew back and our coats flapped we raced back hand in hand to the warmth of the mini-van which I'd adroitly auto-started from above. As we made our way down Grand Ave, flanked on both sides by downtown towers and twinkling holiday lights, whose days were now surely numbered, Lena remarked "Daddy, I liked that hotel. I wanna go there again." I was pretty sure just then that our experiences there, subdued though they were, rivaled any of those of my freewheeling youth. Sometimes in life it's the really jejune, serendipitous experiences that end up being the ones that are the most cherished.
Back at home we were met by a somber and downtrodden Esden, 7, who felt betrayed after hearing a mundane trip to the store had turned into a grand downtown hotel adventure. Not wanting a sad child child on New Year's eve and having one more errand yet, it was back out into the chill and off the the video store with a jammy clad Esden and Lena, a journey they both relish anew each time the opportunity presents. Gaily they chased each other around the store and marveled at the candy and colorful movie jackets, squealing with delight, which brought smiles and laughter to Blockbuster staff and patrons alike, the former who readliy forgave Lena's indsisrection of trying to bite a gigantic lolipop which we had not paid for. Movie in hand, and New Year's greetings on our lips in our our hearts we headed back to our humble abode as 2010 wound down to its inauspicious end.
After the kids were snuggled all safe in their beds without too many protestations, my wife and I settled in to watch the movie. We talked about New Year's eve and the year that was quickly drawing to a close. It had been a good one for us, filled with family, fun and many delightful experiences. We both expressed thanks and appreciation for each other and the life we share together, happy in our roles as husband and wife and parents to three rambunctious small souls. Eventually our focus gave way to other pursuits and conversation dwindled off as we muti-tasked, I on my computer and she with one of her many books. It was 12:21am before I realized the time and that the New Year had come, sneaking in silently as it were. I leaned over and said "Happy New Year!" and my wife surprised, rejoined and we kissed. It was quite possibly the best New Year's ever.
Contact Matt Grohe Realtor® RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts - 3125 Douglas Ave #205 Douglas Ave. Des Moines, IA , or call 515-988-3726 to list your property for sale or to purchase a property in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale, Ankeny, Waukee, Norwalk, Carlisle or surrounding areas.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.