Over the many years I've experienced the full gamut of such celebrations; all different, mostly wonderful.
I've had lobster and candlelight and champagne birthdays, fallen cake and melted ice cream birthdays (some of the best), new station wagon birthdays, crayon and colored-paper handmade little boy card birthdays, and even a Barnaby the Old English Sheepdog puppy birthday. All wonderful. Today's was a "Celia's all-you-can-eat Mexican Cantina" birthday with my son, David, daughter, Dorian, and two beautiful granddaughters -- ages 5 and 7. It was special because I'm aware that this is Tamaya and Alayana's absolutely favorite way-cool restaurant -- a place of great joy to be shared only with those you love with a passion -- I am honored to be one such.
Missed son, Bob, who lives miles away on a horse ranch in the Salinas Valley, but maybe he'll call tomorrow ... We moved the celebration up one day so that grandma wouldn't be caught up in world saving somewhere, or, be consumed while trying to find a substitute to hold up this end of the continent while we celebrate. Sundays are simply more celebratory than Mondays, but it means that we didn't have Bob with us, and he was missed.
David assured me that he's managed to secure at least four tickets to see the Lion King that comes to San Francisco in January. I'm trying for four more. It seems more important than ever to revisit that magical world of fine arts and the fantasy of this childscape at a time when the world is being so foolishly "adult" and mean and angry and vengeful... .It's so critical that we remember the really important things, isn't it?
Funny, while driving Dorian back to her apartment tonight I found myself playing over and over in my head:
"The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat they took some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note ..,"
James Whitcomb Riley? Not sure. But now the little poem will wrap itself around my brain, and turn up in fragments in the middle of tomorrow's hearings and obscure some critical point meant to clarify something or other of great import. But I'll continue to look properly wise and knowing and no one will guess ... .
As I recall ... tomorrow I need to call the State Library in Sacramento to try to get the audit figures for Prop. 40 bond moneys designated for historic preservation and cultural restoration projects ... and -- as I recall -- the board has not yet been fully appointed ... and I suppose you can see how that goes. At least two museums and one national park will be waiting for word of the progress of that emerging state Board. (Let's see, the governor names two, the speaker -- two, the state senate ... -- who's missing?) How fragile is this network called government, and I'm one of the better reps, guys! Truly.
"...and they ate from a runcible spoon!"
Happy birthday to me!
Photo: His name was Barnaby. He shared our life in the suburbs for many years and gave us laughs when life did not; at least not as much as childhood might have otherwise provided.