We Got Silkworm Spinning / We Got Birthday Singing …

Want to write, if hurriedly, about our party last night to celebrate Kevin’s fortieth birthday–his “friend party,” as we explained to the kids, who had their own ideas about who should be invited (ie. their friends). It wasn’t till the kids were in bed that the party really started for me–the eddying and flowing, whirling and skirling of shallow waters and deeps that makes for a really fine gathering. I took no photographs. Not one. It felt like the camera would remove me from what was happening, and I really just wanted to sink right in and enjoy.
Highlights include the late-night tidying insisted upon by the Three Vodkateers (ever may they outwit, outplay, and outlast).
I also cannot fail to mention Ryan’s can of conversational magic, aka edible silkworm pupa, which guests braver than I threw back and managed to keep down (Survivor comes to Uptown; no prizes for this one, but aren’t you glad to be alive?); there were few takers for seconds. The children put the leftovers into jars this morning and by evening I’d collected and spun our first silk scarf, which seems entirely improbable, nay, downright incredible, given the infamously finicky nature of the silkworm and that the little slugs had been marinating, potentially for months, in monosodium glutomate. Guess we just got lucky. Ryan, that was a well-invested $1.50.
But seriously. The best moment of the evening? A full house singing lyrics especially written for Kevin’s birthday by Chris L., with Sean on wailing acoustic guitar. Was I dry of eye? I was not. Later, a friend told me that they’d been mulling what to get Kevin for his birthday, and suddenly someone said: We shouldn’t get him something–we should DO something! Thus, the surprise song. A better gift for a man of action, there could not be. Thanks to everyone.
And suddenly it was three thirty in the morning, and the house was quiet. And then it was seven, and the house was not.

The Joys of the Neighbourhood Playgroup
Family Meeting


  1. Heather

    You spun a silk scarf? I’m totally impressed (or am I taking you too literally?) That sounds like a fantastic party, happy birthday again to Kevin, who has obviously been making excellent use of his years to have such good friends.

  2. Carrie Snyder

    Totally joking. Not only were the silkworm pupa very much dead and now in our compost (they did not smell fabulous either), I have almost zero talent in the area of crafts. I wondered whether the straight faced humour would translate into type.

    And I agree. He’s used his forty years well.

  3. Julia

    Carrie, what a *great* night!! I have some photos, none of them great, from part a) of the party; I will get them to you if you like. I truly wish I had thought to video that wonderful singing. It takes a great man to inspire a song like that, another (with his lovely partner) to write it, and a third to get that whole crowd singing unabashedly and unashamedly. I still have “Come Together” in my head. Thanks again for being such wonderful hosts.

  4. Carrie Snyder

    I’d LOVE photos, Julia! Can’t believe I got none at all.
    That song just cries out for lyric-making, I find … I’ve been walking around with the most absurd lyrics appearing in my brain. Totally stupid stuff. Can’t seem to stop. The kids find it mildly amusing anyway.


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