When Namine was smaller – she’s still small, but this was a lifetime away, when she was still, shall we say, mechanically dependent – we had taken her to a local pizza place called Organ Piper Pizza. They have the most amazing pizza, and the atmosphere is, you eat amazing pizza to awesome organ music. (You can request songs!) We think she was around a year old at that point, but it’s hard to say. But anyway. Namine has always been attentive, aware of her surroundings, but she didn’t then care much for the lights and sounds. There was no real context to the experience, anyway; she didn’t eat pizza (or any real food, for that matter, still being dependent on the g-tube and every-three-hours liquid feeds) and did not care, really, for any noise. Today, however, was different.
I’ve never really had occasion to use the phrase “wide-eyed wonder,” especially literally, but I do today. We joined my parents, sister, and grandparents at Organ Piper today, and Namine was nothing short of amazed, awe-struck, enraptured. Of course, she was able to appreciate it more. My mom had ordered spaghetti for her, just in case she was disinterested in the pizza, but she needn’t have worried. Namine ate from both Jessica’s and my own pizza, so we gave her a piece of her own – as long as her arm and as wide as her head. She ate all of that, too.
But food, we know she eats. She no longer needs the g-tube, which of course is the purpose of this Tuesday’s meeting – to schedule the g-tube’s removal. No, the real joy came from the organ music, the lights, and fascination. You can request songs, and there were several that she knew well – music from Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Phantom of the Opera. Her eyes, which are by her nature large, beautiful eyes that just drink in all they see, got even wider. When she wasn’t stuffing her mouth with pizza, it was open with wonder. She could not take in everything fast enough, and she did not want to leave. (And who can blame her? We never want to leave Organ Piper either.)