Category: Party

Birthday boy (aka my baby)

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Yesterday on birthday eve: still 6 years old. Count ’em.

A big day here at our house: the baby of our family is seven years old! He requested a “soccer party,” so we’ve accommodated with indoor field time and friends invited this evening. It was one of his few requests. Last week, he tried to compile a birthday wish list. He carefully numbered a lined piece of paper with 1. 2. 3. 4. and so on all the way to about 20., then started to fill in the blanks. Sometime thereafter I discovered him moaning and groaning in the kitchen, staring at his wish list, stabbing at it with a pencil, tearing his hair out. “What’s happening here?” I asked. “I can’t think of anything else that I want!” he cried. He had written down one item at the top of the list. Soccer stickers. “Don’t worry about it,” I suggested. So he didn’t. And this morning he opened his very few, very modest, almost exclusively soccer-related gifts this morning (including stickers), and he appeared to be thrilled.

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Also on birthday eve: CJ inexplicably poses with mini-stick and Suzi-dog, while balancing on one leg.

We’ve been reminiscing about the morning of his birth. He was born at home, but only Kevin and I were here. The other kids were away overnight with Grandma Linda and Grandma Alice. We called them to share the news. They had three questions: boy or girl? name? and does he have red hair? We said, yes, he has red hair. Ha! We continued to look for evidence of red hair for the next several months, until we finally realized that no, this one was different.

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Fooey looks through photo albums: these were taken that summer when she and CJ went to dance camp together, and CJ was the only boy.

This morning I observed that if I’d only had one child, I would have thought I was very good at training children to fall asleep. Albus was a champion napper and sleeper. Then AppleApple turned up and wrecked those illusions. And if I’d only had two children, I would have thought I was very good at giving birth on my due date. Both A & A were born exactly on time. But then Fooey arrived 15 days early (and CJ further blew the illusion of control and showed up 10 days late). And if I’d only had three children, I would have thought we could only produce red haired offspring. But then CJ arrived and proved that, basically, there can be no assumptions in parenthood.

They are who they are. And he really is who he is. Wonderfully so.

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On birthday morning. Seven years old.

We all love him, just as he is. Seven years old. Isn’t that a great age!

xo, Carrie

PS He’s going to let me cut his hair on May 3rd. Why May 3rd, you may ask? Because, he will tell you, his outdoor soccer season starts on May 4th.

Singing happy birthday to Margaret Atwood

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This photo, taken in the hotel room before last night’s party, represents my evening well. Black dress, red tights, relaxed. I had fun at the Writers’ Trust Gala.

But.

There shouldn’t be buts when at a party where one is happy, surrounded by friendly faces, wearing a medal (all of the writers wear medals, which does give one an odd feeling of having won something), enjoying smart conversation, and singing happy birthday to Margaret Atwood. It’s lovely. We were even entertained by a “ukulele orchestra” of young people, near the ages of my older kids.

So.

Is there a but?

There isn’t, in terms of the evening itself. But there is, in terms of the larger concerns of the larger world outside of this sheltered glittering large and fancy and exclusive room. I am thinking of Ferguson, MO, most immediately. I am thinking of a conversation in which I feel strongly that I should be listening, not talking. Here’s an article I read this evening on Salon. Listening, not talking.

This is short post. I’m off to teach the last class of the term. It’s a fine evening, chilly, frosty, flecks of sharp snow falling.

xo, Carrie

P.S. A friend pointed out this afternoon that I’ve been to very few parties in the last year, in my own neighbourhood; parties to which I’ve been invited, I mean. This is true, and the truth makes me a bit sad. I’m not sure why I’ve failed to find myself in party mode when among friends, yet I can lift myself to party mode when among colleagues and strangers. This is for thinking on, I think.

Celebrate good times

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And after, below, as the evening begins to swing.

DSC03024.jpgDSC02958.jpgI did not take photos during the party. These are by AppleApple. It was such an evening, a moment out of time, and all I can say is thank you to everyone who made it happen. Kevin told me I was laughing in my sleep last night.

xo, Carrie