I bet that Phantom would agree that April 22 is a good day for a birthday: Happy Birthday, Mr. Blue, and Happy Birthday, Politica!
While the Scribbler-Blues were warbling various versions of happy birthday, the Granola family was out and about at our local living history museum. Since People in Period Costumes are Scary, not much history is actually absorbed by Curious Girl on any visit there, but there are long country lanes, newborn lambs, lots of flowers in bloom, and a playground. So fun was had. "Do you want to listen to the breeze in the wind?" CG asked Politica as we got ready to head down a nature trail. The breeze in the wind was beautiful, and it was great that Politica is feeling recovered enough from her shingles to come out for a day. We found a year-old but new-to-us Belgian brasserie not far from our house, and had mussels and pommes frites--I mean, freedom fries--and then came home for a frozen custard cake. There is a lot of cake left over, and CG and I haven't yet made the [Politica! spoiler alert!!!] cupcakes that CG considers
considers necessary to any birthday celebration. "We don't need balloons," CG informed me this morning, but cupcakes are a necessity. As is, apparently, a family birthday badge. At a garage sale this morning we found a button that says "Happy Birthday!" on it, and Politica wore it all day. CG gets it on her birthday in a few weeks. Very exciting, as it's kind of like the VIP badge that one child gets to wear each day in CG's classroom. (The VIP has both privilege and responsibility: s/he has to decide whether to start the Pledge alone or all together, give a weather report at circle time, help set the table for lunch, and is at the head of every line modeling quietness when going past the babyrooms or good walking when heading outside. I thought it was rather odd when I heard about it, but the kids love it. And the Birthday Badge is just very exciting. After one day, I highly recommend them.)
It's been a tough year for Politica. Her father is ailing (although he's doing a little better lately, and is having surgery later in the week, he's been in hospital since last Labor Day, which is not encouraging); her shingles have been awful; she's been sick a few other times; she's missing some far-off friends. Good things have happened, too: she's tenured, so she's getting to order Associate Professor Politica business cards; she has a cool new academic project in the works; she's done wonderful work choosing and applying paint colors in our new rooms. But still, it's been a tough year, and birthdays always bring some tough introspection for her.
We had a birthday treasure hunt this morning (I'll let you guess whose idea it was to hide the presents and get Mommy to look for them), and Curious Girl and I got Politica several gifts. She'd asked for Linda Greenhouse's biography of Harry Blackmun (which looks awesome), and Kate Bush's new CD, and we also got her a sketch of me and CG done by the 10-year old son of a friend, and we made her cards. But what I wish for my love for the coming year is the ability to see herself as CG and I do--when we look over at her, we see a smart, funny, capable and witty woman who fills us up with love, and who gets CG's little legs pumping as she dashes down the hall for a hug. I wish the confidence that would come from that vision were a more constant companion. Not that it's never present, but I wish her to have it more often. We love you, honey.
Happy Birthday. Here's to many more.