Rain and Ice
By Rebecca Meekma
We were lucky last week. No leaks or flooding chez Meekma (with husband in the water and mold remediation business, I should hope so!) But many of our fellow Lagunans were not so lucky. Many in our town faced hardships last week and will continue to deal with the crises as the year ends and beyond.
David and I were new to Laguna in ’97 when the rains created devastating mudslides that took a man’s life. We barely knew anyone in town so we looked at the tragedy in the canyon with a bit of detachment. Now when reports of flooded streets came in over the Internet, my heart and prayers went out to people we know: many friends and artists in the canyon and on Canyon Acres, the family I brought a post-baby delivery meal to over on Browncroft, business owners and employees downtown. Our hearts and prayers go out to all adversely affected by last week’s weather and we wish you a swift recovery.
We were laying low last week; planned downtime that was necessary after all of the December hoopla and events. Husband had major foot surgery and was out of commission so the girls and I had a peaceful week of baking and decorating cookies, watching movies and generally not having plans. The rain helped us relax and not feel pressured to get out and about, except to take dad to his doctor’s appointments. Have you ever tried getting a 6’ 4”, 220 pound man with a bandaged foot that can’t get wet out of a car during the biggest storm of the decade, as he insists he’s fine, he can do it by himself? Merry Christmas to me.
We had a quiet Christmas where I was pleasantly surprised by the girls’ favorite gifts. Was it the long-awaited Wii? No. The pogo sticks? No. The longed-after Ke$ha-singing and dancing monkey that I swore I would never allow in the house that Santa has the nerve to bring? No. Surprisingly, the biggest hits on Christmas morning, along with the much-desired Pillow Pets, were the decorate-your-own electric toothbrushes that I purchased as a stocking stuffer. I saw them at Target, and as the girls needed new toothbrushes I figured why not stick that in the stocking? (Rule of thumb in the Meekma house: if you need anything in December, i.e.: lip balm, hand lotion, a tooth brush, expect to find it in your stocking.)
Apparently, this toothbrush has its own commercial that has been running on all the kids’ TV channels, and clueless parent that I am, I didn’t even know it. They were thrilled to receive their own “My Way”s, ripped open the packaging and started decorating immediately. And, then, Christmas miracle of miracles, they asked if they could go brush their teeth. Amen.
After Christmas, the girls and I went to see a show that has become one of our December traditions: Disney on Ice.
I grew up ice skating, and for about a year could actually do a basic spin jump. I had a Dorothy Hamil hair cut in first grade (come on – I know you remember it), cried at “Ice Castles” (I know you remember that, too) and was glued to the TV during the Winter Olympics to watch the figure skating. I just love it.
Anyway, it seems that each year Disney’s touring ice show comes to Southern California in December and provides a great diversion during Christmas break. This year’s performance, “Let’s Celebrate,” did not disappoint. The performance stars Mickey and friends as they celebrate various holidays and events around the world with their assorted Disney friends.
My favorite was the Halloween scene featuring all of the Disney villains, from Captain Hook to Maleficent to the evil queen from Snow White who tried to trick Mickey into taking a bite of her poisoned apple. (The rebellious part of me wanted to see what would happen if Mickey took the bait, but the crowd prevented Mickey from performing that egregious faux pas.)
The Valentine’s celebration featured the Disney princesses and their beaux performing fabulous pas de deux, including great lifts, spins and jumps. Both girls were transfixed. I fear skating lesson requests coming shortly.
The biggest applause came when the characters from Toy Story took the ice, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the Piggy Bank. How did someone skate on all fours in that rotund costume? Pure skill.
This is engaging entertainment; older kids and adults can appreciate the skill of the skaters while younger kids get swept away seeing their favorite characters come to life on ice. Add reasonable ticket prices and you’ve got a win-win for everybody.
Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate is coming to the Long Beach Convention Center, Jan. 5-9. Check my blog at www.ParentingOC.com for a chance to win tickets to the Sunday, Jan. 9 matinee.
Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do and the Calendar Editor for Parenting OC. Follow her blog at www.ParentingOC.com.