Sunday, May 31, 2009

Birthday Girl

It pays to have talented friends.  In this case, that would be our mutual friend Amy, artist extraordinaire, who now has a regular gig making the illustrations for Music and the Spoken Word.  Interesting story: Amy was one of the many college friends who knew both K. and I long before K. and I knew each other.  She was at the party where K. and I met, and was the third person I called while trying to track down K.'s last name and phone number.   I sounded so awkward on the phone that Amy naturally assumed I was about to ask her out.  Since Amy was already happily married, she was trying to think of a way to let me down easy, but finally I managed to state my business and scored the digits.  Seeing as how K. has now known Amy for half her life, it seemed high time to commission a portrait.

I have known K. for about a third of my life now, the happiest third, and the most hopeful.  Oftentimes I think of our relationship as a kind of gravity, and think that with all we have shared and suffered and risked together there is hardly any chance we will ever escape each other's orbit again.  Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.   Thank goodness I found you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Young Enterprise

In kindergarten I seated myself in front of our old, drafty house on Dixwell Avenue, took a deep breath, and let the world know that seashells, fresh from the Connecticut shore, could be had for just five cents.  I only remember one commission, a small translucent yellow shell sold to a mustache man who insisted on paying me a quarter no matter how many times I asked for a nickel.  I suggested that maybe he could give it to his wife, and all the grown-ups laughed.  I hadn't thought of that memory for years.

There's something very optimistic, and very touching, about a child assuming that strangers will see value in the things that they themselves treasure.  Maybe it's just the clear weather, but the world seems somehow better, goodness breaking out all over.

Mother's Day Gifts

These Mother's Day pictures pretty much speak for themselves.  Beautiful spring day, newly planted trees, and my gifts.  (No, not what the kids are holding, the kids themselves, of course.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ian's Corner: Whoosh

OK, here's the secret: If you want to make me cry, show me a sentimental movie about fatherhood and within twenty seconds I'll have to turn away, claiming I just got something in my eye.  The sad part is that I'm not kidding at all--father trauma is my kryptonite.  Show me An American Tale, Finding Nemo or Fiddler on the Roof--if a father is torn from and/or reunited with his child, I am guaranteed to choke up.  Ian, of course, is to blame for all of this.
Has it been nine years?  Seriously?  No, really, nine years?  Almost a third of my life that I've been responsible for someone with such little feet?  The strangest part is that the past nine years are the part that feels like real life, and the preceding two decades are the part that feels like a dream.  In some ways, having Ian was when life began, or at least life as we now know it. 
The best part about Ian is that the older he gets the better I like him.  He was in many ways a difficult baby, and there was a period a few years back that gave us some worry about his future, but in the past couple of years he has only gotten more kind, more loving, more good-natured, more his best self.  Happy Birthday, young lad.  You make me so glad to be your father.