As I mentioned in an earlier post Cincinnati is a great place. There are many great things about Cincinnati, including its mid-western charm and character, but most importantly it is a place where Alex can be safe. Safety is not only about lack of crime - it is also about security in knowing that if an emergency develops there are people I can reach who will help Alex.
One of these people is Lisa, a friend from our college days. Lisa has befriended Alex and in a very short time has completely gotten her "number" which is quite an accomplishment all by itself. Following is another extremely well written and thoughtful account of a recent outing.
A week after our failed attempt Alex and I made it to the Cincinnati Pops “Superhero” Concert at Music Hall. It was a sold out sea of squirming kids, breastfeeding moms and little super heroes parading in costume. As we waited for the concert to begin I told her how much I admired her courage. “I can’t imagine how you have accomplished everything you have in your life including being an Olympian with 2 medals from S. Korea. And now you are helping UC create a new program which will benefit many young adults. You’re a REAL super hero, Alex” I said. “I know,” said she glowing, with a huge smile on her face. “Now, can you hem my pants?”
Alex, as promised, had brought her three pairs of UC sweatpants, all cut off just below the logo to be hemmed. She told me emphatically that she was NOT going to learn how to sew. But she watched what I did carefully and admired the finished work. It was a bit of a challenge hemming in the dark in those little Music Hall seats, with a young boy jumping up and down beside me. Working very quickly, I managed to hem all three during the one hour concert, finishing just in time for the final applause.
As I read your thoughts, Gary, on the hairspray incident I had a different interpretation. We have similar moments at nearly every outing and they are always a combination of a few things. First, we’re both tired and out of patience with each other, then she has a long to do list and is worried we’re not going to get it done, and finally, it is at the end of a visit that she doesn’t want to end. “You just don’t understand,” she says repeatedly. And indeed I don’t as I try various approaches to pull out of the downward spiral.
I think the hairspray melt down was really about the sadness of your visit ending. But then again, Alex does not forget items on her to do list. She told me we were getting hairspray before she got into my car the following weekend! And we did! That persistence is only one of her superhero qualities. Another is the strong and genuine connections she forms with nearly everyone she meets.
She forbid photos of the outing so you’ll have to imagine it. (Editorial comment - Alex knows I post pictures and apparently is not happy about it)
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