a field birthday flowers from my parents, with a violet in the middle.
i was sleeping it off on the couch sunday morning when oliver arrived from his bedroom and said, "mommy?"
i anticipated a request to watch television and said, somewhat unenthusiastically, "what."
and my day was made right there. he showed himself capable of thinking of someone other than himself, without prompting.
the night before, i had what is, these days, an uncharacteristic outing with darren. he had extended a birthday celebration the monday prior. he came to the house loaded with belated birthday contraband for the children and a belated housewarming for us.
oliver: jesus action figure, 3D puzzles that formed duck and rabbit figurines, united states bingo.
violet: a multi-colored tea set, marie antoinette action figure. i think her head is already missing.
house: a sturdy, party-sized cutting board, a packet of lettuce seeds, alessi bottle opener.
bonus bag, which i was instructed to give to children later (but later when?): melissa & doug three tiered cake, dinosaur cookie cutters.
we darted away quickly to the magnolia and all the perils of parking in the garage. as darren has typically already seen most all available movies, our selection was limited. we chose crystal fairy and the magical cactus and 2013. michael cera. hairy, naked gaby hoffmann. drugs. a beach. i expected a fast-moving plot, but it turned out to be slice of life. with a perplexing, out of place ending.
we moved on to meridian room, where i found it was just as lonely in there as the saturday night i spent there with ramen back in earliest of early june. same bartender. same lack of delirium tremens. i felt the occasion called for a mixed drink and i ordered the mojito, for a summertime flair. i keep forgetting that ordering the franziskaner on tap results in the delivery of a lumbering, headache-making vessel.
we began to head out. i played ms pac man/galaga on the dead machine while darren took the piss out of himself and then realized it was 11:50. i didn't want to be in a car when i became another year pickled. darren asked if he needed to buy me another drink. i asked the bartender for a cape cod with two straws. the bartender said, "what's a cape cod?" we took our annual drinking selfies and climbed in my car. back home, darren's car threatened to not start, but then did.
so there i was, birthday morning, feeling happy over my little boy's selflessness. i wandered off to my bed to try and catch a little more sleep, which is next to impossible once the children are up and the sun is streaming in the sliding door in our bedroom, curtain be damned. impossible, unless one is made of brian. the children brought in a pound of excitement and the birthday cards they had made for me.
brian got up and put television shows on for the children and then, i'm told, went to sleep in violet's bed. i think i managed to drift in and out of slumber before finally committing myself to settle the children's excitement regarding a birthday breakfast tea party they had fashioned out of violet's new wares and daddy's grape juice and some old droste dark chocolate pastilles from easter (i hope, and not xmas). but before exiting beddom, i opened the cards they had made for me.
i blew out a candle and sipped my grape juice, which to this day always brings me back to taking communion as a child or drinking the leftover communion juice in the church kitchen. tiny glass glasses. a round silver tray shot through with quarter-sized holding holes. i guess i've never eaten one of those pastilles we've been giving the children. they were absolutely terrible. maybe just stale. i shared mine.
we eventually scooted out the door. we stopped by this new, awesome place up the road. gecko: ace hardware. they have a magnificent rooster mascot named george. they have chickens. chickens with feather boots. they have a little bit of everything. we were there to get oliver a new lunch box. the tiger's head of last year didn't weather the first grade so well. oliver purchased another keychain turtle to add to his rapidly expanding turtle friend collection.
we left earlier than i would have liked so that we could head to fair park. recently , perot decided to give all this money for a new, fancy museum of science & nature. so this big, modern building went up downtown by the new overpass park and everyone flocks there after paying to park and i'm kind of devastated that they took away a popular reason for people to visit fair park. and then, brian discovered that one of the buildings (there were technically three which made up the museum campus), the museum of natural history, was still in operation and considered a little perot-lette. one dollar admission. the building was built in the 30s, along with the rest of fair park, and it is gorgeous. we meandered through the four halls of original wildlife dioramas. i marveled that these poor, stuffed creatures lived life a hundred years ago. i wondered how they dusted in there, if ever. how would dust get in there? deterioration of the contents? upstairs, you'll find a dizzying assortment of crystals and minerals, a little room of science-minded interactive contraptions, and a sprinkling of fossils. it's a good, old-fashioned, inexpensive, low-maintenance hour or two of fun. for the basement-pricing of $1 per person.
we went to lupper at cosmic cafe. i had saved calories up for it. deliciousness poured into me. i always want a second helping there, but i never order one. except that one time, when i was first pregnant with oliver and we went after colleen's wedding. and i was famished and feeding off nausea. my dress bloated up that day. two years later, i got married for the insurance money in it. anyway. we took home two slices of chocolate cake one for me, one for children.
we still had some of that watermelon that the garden gods had permitted to grow to an edible size, which then had something eat on it while on the vine. it didn't stop me from plucking it and serving wedges to the children from the side which hadn't been gnawed on. i was going to feel super bad if i let the rest rot in the fridge due to my inertia regarding cutting sticky, messy watermelon, so i scraped it into my subpar blender with a little sugar and lime and inspiration from gfrancie and made a subpar agua fresca. i should have taken a little more inspiration and followed some kind of solid set of directions. but that's just how i roll in the kitchen and why i try to avoid baking cakey-types. i set the kids up with glasses and straws and then added some mommy juice to the remainder. gin. in honor of gennie. i spent the evening sipping in the hammock and watching everyone else do things until bedtime.
violet was enthused. oliver was not impressed.