Work has been crazy--3 back to back live events in 3 weeks. Trying to squeeze in my responsibilities as a mom and a wife is starting to take it's toll. Every time I sit down to write a new post, I get writer's block and I can't think of anything worthy to write about.
For the last few weeks we've been planning a surprise party for my uncle Jimmy. He has a Martial Arts studio and was just promoted to a 7th Degree Black Belt. In the Martial Arts world, that's a big deal because there is only four 7th Degree Black Belts in the World Tang Soo Do Association...and one of them is my uncle! There is only one 8th degree black belt and only one 9th degree Black Belt, the Grand Master. In Tang Soo Do, there are only 9 degrees since they believe 10 represents perfection and nobody is perfect.
So my uncle Jim DeBaca was just promoted and since none of us could make it back to North Carolina to witness it, we decided to celebrate here and throw him a big party. It's hard keeping a secret from him when there are so many people and dynamics involved so I thought for sure he would find out. We invited all of his friends, family, and martial arts students. We had a band, actually his band Amnesia played with a substitute drummer. There was a lot of scheming involved and the timing was really tight but it all worked out and we ended up with about 85 people here for dinner and live music. People danced, drank and his daughter put on a beautiful and touching slide show with some songs from Rocky. Yes, I cried.
He pulled up and everyone was noisily waiting inside. There was a lot of shussshhhhing going on but it's hard to shush a room full of adults. No one was listening.
We had the curtains drawn, even though there were a ton of cars parked all around, he thought they were here for my Jim's decoy birthday (which is actually in February). So he came to the door and we all yelled surprise, and he just kind of looked at us--smiling, not really sure what just happened. Then he started recognizing people from the gym and his friends and then he saw the big portrait of him and the Grand Master from his promotion and he finally got it.
S U R P R I S E !!!
The party was a lot of fun. I love my uncle and I was so happy to do something for him since he's done so much for us. And it feels good to have a party for someone, celebrating them NOW instead of at a funeral. That way you know that the person knows how much you honor them NOW, in life, not just after they have gone and they can enjoy their own party and not have to wait until they die to get one.
My uncle Jim saved my life when I was four. I was running around the swimming pool with a towl over my head and fell in the deep end and sunk to the bottom like a rock with a towl over it's head. He dove in and saved me. Maybe I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. He was in the right place at the right time.
Uncle Jimmy and Mom
But, I always stress out before a party, which tells me maybe I shouldn't be having parties, but I like it once it all comes together. It's just the day of where I get a little anxious because there is never enough time in the day, no matter how prepared I am, I am always scrambling around at the last minute with a bunch of things that never got done. But does anyone else know they didn't get done. No. But I know.
I popped a Valium around 4:00pm and chased it with a glass of Merlot. I was so keyed up from the stress it didn't effect me AT ALL. Neither did the Margaritas and shots of tequila. I was invincible, even large amounts of alcohol could not penetrate my level of stress.
I also stress about the Doodle. What to do with him before and during the party. This time, Jim was going to keep an eye on him, but that's a pretty big job--and it's hard and exhausting to watch him when he's in full blown overstimulated autism mode. He doesn't listen and does a lot of taking off. You cannot, I repeat cannot, stop for five seconds and talk to anyone. It's not possible. He takes off and you have to chase him. He kept taking off out the front door--his new obsession is opening car doors, going into the driver's seat and turning everything on. He likes to flip down the mirror and check himself out and his favorite thing is the garage door opener. We just had to start locking our cars and we just had to completely unhook the wires that open the garage door because he goes a little crazy with the opening and shutting. When he saw all the many cars here for the party it was like Christmas to him. He couldn't help himself. He went from car to car to car trying every door--setting off car alarms in the process.
Who knows, maybe he'll be a Valet one day.
Would you let this kid park your car?
Would you let this kid park your car?
He loved the band. The music was loud and he loves loud music. There was a stage that he was drawn too--all he wanted to do was charge the band.
Jim watched him for a while and then I got a turn.