Darin's birthday always kicks off our November with a lot of spirit. He actually really cherishes his birthday in a super endearing way. He likes to open presents. He would never admit this and always says he really needs nothing, but then at some point slips me a little list of book titles he might enjoy. He had a super busy day on his actual birthday, with an eye appointment at 8:50 a.m, then work all day, then off to film the high school play that night. But we woke up early and I cooked up a nice breakfast and we had some early morning fun.
Polly was so excited and proud to carry over Darin's special beer. It was her favorite gift to him, and she had already ruined the surprise by announcing it to him when we picked him up from work the day before after going to the store. "Daddy beer?" She asked, knowing he'd want it right away. ;)
My husband is the truest scholar of books I know, even more so that he works at the Bookery full time and sells some rare titles online. He prizes beautiful, hardback copies of the best books, puts on mylar covers and mostly makes note on slips of paper instead of underlining these days. Our collection is out of control. Here's the newest addition.
But above all, he's in heaven around his girls. He really is such a natural family man. I always knew he would be, it doesn't surprise me at all. But it fills my heart to the brim and makes me a happy woman.
Happy birthday indeed.
We visited him for his lunch break and brought snacks and a basketfull of toys.
Next night we invited all our friends to join us out to pizza. Apparently everyone else on earth had the same idea. It was a random Thursday night but the place was packed. There were at least fifteen one year olds running around. There were other birthdays, other cakes, other songs. Kids (not ours) (?) were clambering around on top of the air hockey table, skating, falling. It was a wild night and a true whirlwind. I had made up a trivia game using some of Darin's favorite categories for the questions (film, literature, weird and horror fiction, music, conspiracy theories.) but it was so loud in there we never got to play. I'm saving it for another gathering.
November is my favorite month. Maybe I say that for many months: June, April, December.
Anyway, November is both mine and Darin's birthday month and it has been raining and our house is warm and cozy and there is wine to drink at night and cookies to bake and cats to snuggle and babies to marvel over leaves and wind and moon cycles and pumpkins and tea and trying on boots.
The fans are offically packed away into the garage and in their place the little oil heater keeps our bedroom snuggly. We wear warm jammies and slippers. This comes so suddenly. I think that's why it is such a pure pleasure around here. We go from hot to cold in about two days.
The girls and I had a movie date with Nana and Jack and Papa and Addie and Utah on Saturday to see a matinee of the new Peanuts movie. At first it was just going to be Lucy going with my mom, but Polly got into the spirit and kept talking about the popcorn and the movies so how could I leave her out? We all went. And guess what? It went perfectly smoothly. We have only been to the cinema three times, the girls and I, and the last two were when Polly was pretty much still a baby. Lucy does just fine because she loves to watch anything and has since she was 12 months old, but Polly is not at all interested in movies or television or shows, so I was worried I'd spend most of the time walking up and down the aisle with her or going out to the game area. But she sat on Nana's lap and ate her popcorn and watched Snoopy and Charlie Brown until she fell asleep and slept through the whole second half. It was incredibly sweet. I got to actually watch, holding Lucy (rapt) on my lap.
Also. the previews worried me. Kids movies these days! It was horrible, an onslaught, superdrive pace, lame jokes, rude humor, ugly cgi animation. I was like...what are we in for? Then...finally... that familiar Vincent Guaraldi music starts in and immediate our souls relaxed. Even the children relaxed, I could feel it. That old fashioned font crossed the screen and we were suspended in time and the old fashioned magic of the movies happened. I have nothing but praise for the Peanuts movie. The pace is calm, the plot is sweet, there are no cell phones, no computers. The kids play outside, and help each other out. I cried three times. I won't spoil it by telling you when.
But I will tell you that I cry easily these days. As a mother, I find myself broken open by time and humanness and love. Any story or music or scene or scent that hints at this: the great mystery at the heart, the loneliness, the togetherness. Tis the season, it approaches. Our Thanksgiving table beckons us all in its happy rickety glory. I can't wait.