This is beginning to feel a bit like flagpole-sitting. The intermittent contraction-like cramps that Heather experienced yesterday failed to develop into anything more significant, and have disappeared altogether so far today. But I think we’re both a bit glad that today isn’t the day the baby came, because we celebrated Declan’s third birthday with a small party of family and friends.
I believe that certainly the boy understood on some level that his second birthday party was a day of unusual fun centered around him, and I even believe that at one, he understood something wonderful was happening when he got to shove his face in a plateful of cake with no one stopping him until he had his fill, but today was different. He’s now completely versed on the rituals of cake and ice cream, of opening presents and blowing out candles, and fully participated in and relished all of them.
I gotta say, the kid got some cool toys, and unlike so much of the crap that gets hawked out there for kids, every single one of his gifts is something he’s going to have fun with for a long time to come. Here’s a short list from memory:
- A bubble making machine "capable of generating as many as 10,000 bubbles in 60 seconds!"
- A cherry red, retro Radio Flyer brand tricycle
- A box set of Nemo books (He’s a Finding Nemo fanatic)
- This cool set of wood vegetables cut into segments and then attached back together with Velcro. The kid uses a wooden knife to “chop” the veggies. And, I swear, it has the feel and sound of actual chopping. If you have a toddler, find this toy and get it for them. Declan played quietly and intently with it for a half hour straight before I had to get him ready for bed.
- A wind-up scuba diver (This was from me. Even though his mom picks him up stuff for his birthday, I always have to get him a couple things from Magic Mouse, Seattle’s best independent toy store, down in Pioneer Square. I also got Baby2B a stuffed-animal Baltimore Oriole, that sings a real Oriole song, because Charm City’s where his/her own dad was born.)
So the wait goes on.
All and all a great day, especially considering the vicious revenge suicide dreams I was having as a strange ill cool wind blew the heat out of Seattle last night ‘round midnight. I have no idea what those were about-- I flashingly recall a woman who came to a man's apartment and began carving herself up to punish him-- but I was spooked enough to close most of the windows in the house, and make a special trip downstairs to check on my wife who was sleeping in the guestroom bed, because she thought she’d keep me up with her restlessness. She was fine, sleeping better than I was, that’s for sure.
So there you have it. The mundane details of my son's birthday party day. But as Thornton Wilder warns in Our Town, be careful what day you go back to after your dead, because even the most mundane might be too extraordinary to bear.