Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Birthdays R Us

Why is it when I have the most to write about, I have the least desire to write? Then, when I talk about grammar or something, I just babble on and on ad nauseum. Wait, I think there's a Chesterton quote for this from Orthodoxy... hang on. Ok, I found it, but it doesn't exactly apply here after all. It sort-of does, if you turn your head sideways and squint. It's a good quote anyway so here it is:
It is very hard for a man to defend anything of which he is entirely convinced. It is comparatively easy when he is only partially convinced. He is partially convinced because he has found this or that proof of the thing, and he can expound on it. But a man is not really convinced of a philosophic theory when he finds that something proves it. He is only really convinced when he finds that everything proves it.

My eldest turned twelve on Monday. Whoa. My twelfth anniversary didn't hit me like his twelfth birthday did. I can't seem to grasp that this boy who was such a gorgeous infant has now completed his twelfth year and is starting in on his thirteenth. His dad took half a day off from work and we surprised son with a trip to play mini-golf and $10 of tokens for the arcade. (We all went along and Flowergirl was incredibly well behaved, sitting quietly in her stroller the whole time.) Apparently it was the best birthday he'd ever had. Why do I say this? Because he told us several times, "This is the best birthday I've ever had!" There were also a few gifts, including a 3DVD set of Pokemon. And I made an Oreo ice cream cake, which was delish. ( Cake tutorial to follow in another post. Very easy.) If a boy can be so well-pleased with a simple trip to an arcade and mini-golf course, is that a good thing or have we been depriving him? I tend to think it is good to keep special events special by not over-doing the activities in day-to-day life. Kind of like "When everyone is super, no one will be." Save special things for special occasions. Though I must say we have special occasions as often as possible ;)

Tomorrow is my youngest son's fourth birthday. Mr. Malaprop will be gone for work again. This time he's going back to Glasgow, which might as well be the ends of the earth as far as birthday parties are concerned. I don't know why they need an engineer there. It's in the contract, I guess. They're pouring concrete. Lots and lots of THICK concrete. Thick as in 20" deep or so. He doesn't really do too much; he's mostly the bee watcher watcher. "He's watching the watcher who's watching that bee. A bee that is watched will work harder, you see." Or at least, will pour the concrete correctly and do the required tests, you see. It's for an airport, so it's important that it doesn't crack and heave and all that. Wouldn't want any airplanes tripping on their aprons. Back to the birthday. To celebrate a little early so Daddy could be here, we went to a community event last night called Summerfest. The local branch of the university rents a few inflated bouncer thingies, a giant inflated slide, a rock-climbing tower, hires a band, and has booths for face painting, snow cones, cotton candy, pop and balloons. Did I mention this is all free? They also have a BBQ, but you have to pay for that. Oh, and the Shriners were there giving little train rides. An almost- four-year-old's dream. And easy on the wallet. We all had much fun but poor little Flowergirl had to once again spend most of her time in her stroller as there were no activities for toddlers. She did play with a balloon a bit and run around in the nice green grass. Oh, and she went on the train ride with me.
Afterwards we came home and had some supper and little son opened a few gifts including a new sleeping bag and a Thomas the Tank Engine book for the LeapPad. One gift is being saved for Thursday, his actual birthday. That is a little water/sand toy I found on clearance at Toys R Us. And we will have another cake, too. Chocolate with chocolate frosting is the request. Ok by me.


Dr. Thursday said...

My best wishes to the birthday people, 12 and 4 - it's a GREAT thing to have a birthday in July.... as I do! I would send gifts but the wrapping won't fit into the keyboard - hee hee - so I'll have to think of an alternative. And wow, I think I have to try making that ice cream cake one of these days...

Actually I think your quote from Orthodoxy is very appropriate, and I thank you for pointing it out to me - it's all too easy to overlook Chesterton gems, which is why it pays to re-read his books.

Also: I am glad to learn that "Mr. Malaprop" is an engineer - an important job. I do not recall the versicle you quote about watching, but it certainly reminds me of the VERY important question asked by Juvenal almost 2000 years ago: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" - "Who watches the watchers themselves?" It's an engineering quote if I ever heard one. More on that another time. And, as I learned from an important book about Shakespeare: "It's vastly better to be overseen than to be overlooked." Hee hee. Of course you probably know that "bishop" comes from the Greek word for "overseer"! So that mitre is kind of a hard-hat thing, maybe? Hee hee.

Candlestring said...

Dr. Thursday~
My husband is a civil engineer, in more ways than one. He used to have a bumper sticker that said "We like CIVIL engineers."

The "bee watcher watcher" is from a Dr. Seuss book called _Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?_

I am reading Orthodoxy (annotated)right now, but found the quote with the help of Mr. Ahlquist in his _The Apostle of Common Sense_

I do not know my Greek or Latin, just some Spanish. Thank you for telling me about "bishop". I don't know about a mitre being a hard hat - it seems some bishops have heads hard enough as they are! But they *are* often trying to engineer things...

Our bishop just retired. Pray for our diocese, please! There is not a single Latin mass for hundreds of miles, and liturgical abuses are rampant.