Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Week Of Birthdays 

Living the nomadic life amidst busy people makes for a complicated series of temporary tentstops. Instead of large-scale gatherings of the clans -- our usual mode of familial interaction -- we spend the summer wandering from oasis to oasis, grateful for the support of family and fellow festivalgoers.

Take a gander at the next few weeks: from here, we hit the in-laws for a M-F business week, slip down to a longer week of early volunteering gigs and mule-field camping at second home Falcon Ridge, settle into one house and then another down along the cape with my mother. Three more weeks somewhere currently TBA, and I start work on the 29th of August.

In the midst of all this unowned existence comes my wife's birthday (8/9), our anniversary (8/18)... and, this Friday, firstchild Willow's third birthday.

The in-laws have been great about inviting us into their home, but hosting a major party there is bit more than any of us signed on for. Too, that's the weekend of the Green River Festival, the usual kickoff for our weekly festweek, and this year we gave Dad a ticket for his birthday. And most of Willow's friends live 45 miles away. And most are on vacation elsewhere.

So there was cake and a candle at our dim sum lunch with Mom, and again at the kid-friendly nouveau supperspace. Presents earlier at the hotel: books, tapes, and a promise of more to follow; a midafternoon at the museum of her choice. Plans are for some present-giving and cakestuff up in Brattleboro on the 14th itself. Surely some of bro-in-law Josh's birthday celebration on Saturday will be for her as well.

So, another silver lining. So much mine, from her tantrums and power games and glee in the playspaces of the Children's Museum to her social awareness and fashion sense; so sweet and resilient in the midst of chaos; so deserving, and I managed to give her a week of Birthdays without even trying.

I'd rather have a home somewhere of our own, I suppose, but if it has to be this way, I'm not complaining, and neither is Willow. No shortage of wonder in this wander.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:22 PM |

On her birthday itself, Friday, the 15!!, Willow will get to choose (at last check-in it was a visit to the retreat petting farm, or swimming)what she wants to do for the day . She actually said she didn't want a cake, but some form of raspberry confection is in the works. As for presents she has more than can travel well, so I have been encouraging folks to do something small, or let her know of soming coming when she moves again. But, of course, there must be ballons!
Oh, and she got to start off her birthday weekend with a breakfast/lunch meal with her travel weary but welcomed Grandpa, who has wonderful taste in little girl dresses!
D'oh -- thanks to the goodwife for fact-checking my date error. It's the OTHER kid who was born on the 14th of something.

As for the grandpa day -- I'm not sure he or I (or Willow) understood this morning a birthday event. Having returned but five hours previous from the longest Cali return trip ever, we were a bit too groggy to feel celebratory. There was no birthday song sung or special cake, and no mention of the birthday itself between Dad and Willow; there were indeed presents, but I thought that they were just away gifts purchased from Mendocino.

As such, I'd hope his presence this weekend for Green River Fest can include some birthday-like eventitude. It would be a shame to only know after-the-fact that that WAS the birthday time with Dad -- for him and for me.
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