O Overwhelmingly is 8

My mother-in-law made fish cake for the fishing party.
They were not fish flavored.

"Mom? Have I ever told you I'm proud to be your son?" said the new 8-year-old this morning. It kind of doesn't get any better than that, right? Nice to get this the day after one of the most successful, and least planned, kids birthdays I have presided over.

The day began with a fishing trip, during which we caught a lot of trees. And once, two in our party caught the same fish at the same time. Poor fish. The day ended in a glitzy restaurant in Little Italy watching our goofy and multi-talented friend Tim play stand-up bass in a doo-wop band. We were with Leah, who was overwhelmed by the fabulous weirdness of the whole scene. Also, I had amazing parking juju. In between the O got to play with friends, play with a Legos, play with a new video game, and eat his favorite dinner. Z got to go to the Hessler Street Fair with one of her favorite people, and see a friend on stilts. I got to putter around the house, tidy a few things, and continue the Great Book Rearrangement of 2013 (and take a nap).

I have a lot of friends who made it possible. I feel incredibly fortunate and kind of weepy for all these people.

Today I have forced the children to make me breakfast in bed. Not only did I give him a great birthday, I also birthed all of the original 10 lbs. 3 oz. of him. I deserve breakfast in bed, even if it is a leftover sandwich from his birthday party.

Reading: In For the Time Being, Dillard is examining spirituality, individuality, temporality, beingness, and related phenomena, in a fractured, associational way. One thread to follow is the question of how to think about suffering and God -- she frequently returns to the idea that it is "fatal to reason" to believe suffering comes form an omnipotent God. Hivemind question: Where does the term "fatal to reason" come from? I've tried looking it up -- first hit on Google is a quote from Mary Wollestonecraft's "Vindication of the Rights of Women" -- but I get nowhere beyond understanding that it is a frequently used term. Is it from classical logic? Another thread is the one about clouds and the accounts people have written of them. I believe her aim is to use the ephemeral nature of clouds as an analogy for the ephemeral nature of human existence. As a writer, I like that she just does what she wants to do with this strange form without explaining or apologizing. Also, I liked the scene with the blue crab in the desert at the source of the River Jordan.

Writing: Did well during the week. Off track for the weekend.

Dinner: O chose the garlicky/mustardy chicken "pitza" at a local Middle Eastern restaurant for his birthday dinner. I had a pitza with lots of eggplant, feta, and olives.

Soundtrack: In preparation for seeing Tim's band, David got an album of doo-wop classics from the library, which he's been playing in the car all week. O was making fun of the "dum dums" in "Come Go with Me." This happens to be one of my favorite songs of its ilk, so we requested it from the band, but then, alas, we had to leave before they could play it for us. Also ... Dion? I don't think I have fully appreciated Dion.

Random thing: I have been overwhelmed more than once in recent days by the scent of Lily of Valley. Last night, picking up Leah, it wafted on a cool breeze, carried from where the lily plants were interspersed in the ivy under a big old tree. I love this scent. I would like to plant more Lily of the Valley. (I have some that has volunteered in a corner of my "garden." Then again I would like to do anything proactive in my garden.

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