Pumpkins, Rain, Anniversaries
(pumpkins, boy, and painting are all my own)
It is a packed day, but I’m feeling mellow. There has been so, so much to do and think about lately (more on that subject later).
Today is bursting with anniversaries. Well, at least two, that I know of. Besides the fact that it rained this morning, which always feels like a cause to both celebrate and weep over (you know, weep with joy…and bittersweet nostalgia, inevitably brought on by mists and deluges and other atmospheric novelties).
Today is my son Ezra’s birthday. Not just any birthday…it is his sixteenth. One of those Big Deal Birthdays. And he is a very unexcitable fellow. Which means that any pomp or circumstance I might offer at his feet (besides a newly released i-phone, or a motorcycle) would squirm in confusion and bewilderment under his cool, inscrutable gaze. ( Yeah, I just haphazardly personified pomp and circumstance. You can do that on a blog. It’s a displacement strategy, meant to distract the reader from the writer).
Ezra’s birthday, at least for me, is one more occasion to both celebrate, and to weep. Ok, not really weep. I love him far too well to embarrass him with weeping…
Feeling somewhat fatalistic about the cool inscrutable stare, we bought him two t-shirts and a hoodie. Even though I know new clothes are about as meaningful as dryer lint to boys of Ezra’s ilk. Logic: On normal, un-Big Deal days, he sometimes complains that he doesn’t have enough t-shirts.
Also, a guitar. I’d heard him singing in the shower on Saturday (he sings beautifully) and asked if he wanted voice lessons. Sure, he said. But what I’d really like is to learn how to play the guitar.
It’s a gamble. Here’s hoping.
There’s more. We splurged on a big box of mac-n-cheese from Costco (actually, an economy pack: seven bazillion boxes of Kraft’s insidious death-by-not-real-cheese). Nora wrapped it with tissue paper and a glue stick, unable to contain her excitement. She knows how much her brother craves death by not real cheese. And how deprived he is of not real cheese, on normal Not-Big Deal days.
I’m also making sugar cookies. I think he still loves them, but I can’t be sure (inscrutable, remember). There was a time when Jell-O was his favorite treat (he has a penchant for the rare and unattainable…seriously. I almost never make jell-o; I’ve never thought of it as actual food). He decided he didn’t like it anymore the year I tried to make a Jell-O cake for his birthday. I cannot blame him.
Back to anniversaries.
Today is not just the eleventh of September, my son’s birthday; it is also 9=11. An epic day. I don’t think I can address it’s epic-ness here. Even if I had time…I don’t think I have a firm grasp. But I can reminisce a bit.
I remember the day. Ezra was very little. His most consuming passion: Pumpkins. He didn’t ask for much then (the i-phone still less than a twinkle in Mr. Job’s eye), but his desire for pumpkins was fierce. And my desire for his happy laughter was just as fierce. I was cutting pumpkins from construction paper, the kids still asleep, when Frank called me and told me I’d better turn on the TV. And that was the end of happiness and celebrating that day. We tried to muster it, for Ezra’s sake. But I remember finally giving up. Apologizing, snuggling. Trying to be grateful for our children’s warm little bodies and innocent heads when we tucked them safe in bed. Raw with awareness of just how precarious that safety really was, after the morning’s sudden, vicious glare.
We have recovered since. We’re back to celebrating and happiness again. From what I’ve read, so are people more significantly impacted than ourselves. Since my mingling with far-flung American culture is limited (can anyone really keep a finger on America’s pulse? I don’t think so.), I cannot know for sure just what 9-11 means to my nation now (inscrutable-ness again). But I love individual stories (courage, love, hope, enlightenment: proof of the goodness and strength of the human soul). I believe in cumulative effects, how change happens and good spreads story by story.
Post script: The day has ended. The cookies were a debacle. Note to self: bad idea to incorporate marshmallows-another nonfood– into warm caramel frosting…unless we’re all okay with communal licking and gnawing to get the cookies off the plate. The frosting had rubber glue-like qualities. Ezra made himself mac-n-cheese (he says it’s about the butter, actually…I told him please don’t use an entire cube for just one box). And he was visibly pleased (he almost gushed) with the guitar. I love, love, love that boy. And would have (of course) even if he hadn’t almost gushed. Meanwhile, storm warnings from the national weather service are in effect: The rain may turn into flash floods along the Northern Wasatch Front . Exciting. And now, I will tuck myself in with a warm, happy glow. And probably won’t post this til tomorrow…But that’s the glory of WordPress. Past dated post scripts.