First, we survived Eli’s fourth birthday and this is not trivial. How by the way did my baby get to be four. The festivities began when we realized on Thursday that we had no present for him and zipped out on a date to the bike store for a push-bike. This has the double effect of thrilling thing 3 and we hope of getting him to ride a bike, which will then shame thing 1 and 2 into learning themselves. I know very little about where we are going in china but I know they all ride bikes. It is currently his favorite means of getting around the house and he wears the helmet 24/7. You can’t be too careful. My favorite arrival of the day was the fabulous Thing 1-3 t-shirts from Uncle Michael and Aunt Lynn, which the things all promptly put on. This is the favorite uncle who lets me drive his various cars and promises to visit us in China. I also loved it when Brian, a former babysitter/close family friend called me at 9 in the morning to ask how I felt about foam swords. Note that the kid turns everything into a weapon and that the 30 year old kid on the phone has been taking him out for battle practice since he was two. Too little too late? The birthday was also relatively painless thanks to global warming which allows a thanksgiving week party to be outside. The boys, Sid, Charlie, Sam and Eli did a lot of running around. (his other friend is Solomon and yes it does sound like a bunch of old men in Florida) The key item in the household for that age group is currently the drum set with the percussion player in my band has parked in my basement. He claims that as long as the kids don’t get peanut butter on it things are fine. The older siblings mostly tried to boss the little ones around and Rebecca organized a “pin the nose on the snow man” which she made herself.
The birthday boy had to sit out Harry Potter which he was very pissed off about. “I need to see the movie. I wed the book twee times. I am a big big boy” The big kids have been counting the days until this major motion picture event and can spout harry potter trivia the way their father and his buds can still quote Lord of the Rings. Rebecca has been obsessively reading the book because she wanted to finish before she saw the movie—this involved hiding in the bathtub after bedtime reading under the table at dinner etc… She was so not scared that she wanted to sit with her friend Reid not me. I was slightly nervous, as Jonathan has never made it through a motion picture. Up was to scary for him and The Frog Princess landed him in my lap for most of it. He every so often has to run out of the room in curious George but when the man in the yellow hat approaches. Remarkably he watched almost all of it though much it was facing the back of his seat with hand clutched over ears. (think Kierkegaard and Don Giovanni) and for about five minutes we had to run out of the theater. He kept a fairly constant dialogue about what was “wrong” about the movie. The girls claimed not to be scared at all. I wonder if the overall extremely dark mood with traumatic fantasies mob evil and soul searching is simply lost on them.
I haven’t decided what I think about the New York Times Counter -Tenor article from this morning. I’m used to no one outside of our tiny little world of early modern musicologists caring about what I do. So my original thought was “I’ve been scooped by the times. Dam it.” I’m working on a more intelligent and thought out response. This will come tomorrow when I’ve transitioned out of the make a birthday cake, make 24 ice cream cone cupcakes, have a total of 12 kids in and out of house all weekend, state. For this pivot chord modulation I’m turning Sunday night into editing other people’s work night. I assume I’m not the only one out there who finds it much easier to fix someone else’s prose than to generate their own….