Zeke is nine days old today. Four years of yearning have come to a fruitful and blessed conclusion with his birth. I can hardly express how much better it is in every possible way to be able to snuggle with him outside of my body instead of carrying him within. Our lives have changed so much in the past couple weeks that any words I can think of frankly seem inadequate to the task of describing what we’re feeling and have experienced, but–being a writer–I feel compelled to try to come up with those words anyway. So here are a few brief chapters.
I. The Birth Story (only for those who are truly interested)
We checked into the hospital on a Sunday night so I could be induced on the day before my due date because the doctors suspected Zeke was particularly big and might be too large to be…
I just finished reading Suzanne Collins’ magnificent Hunger Games trilogy. In addition to being a gripping thriller, it is a searing look into the darkness of mankind and our predilection for destroying each other. Collins does not spare us from the sickening and horrifying details of warfare, and the moral ambiguity that inevitably creeps in whenever we begin killing in the name of something good. As Peeta–the hero Katniss Everdeen’s love interest–says of the fighting, “how do you think this will end? What will be left?” The Hunger Games trilogy is sci-fi, set hundreds of years in the future. But Peeta’s questions haunt our real world today.
We had a great time at the Cox Farms Fall Festival today. Zoe tried most of the slides, asked someone in a bunny suit if he/she wanted a carrot, and played with her friend Salome on the hay pile. Other highlights were the hay ride (with a very spirited driver) and a cow-milking show.
As Betsy has documented on her blog here and here, Zoe loves to read, talk, and play-act about mommies having babies. And when we go to the library, Zoe almost exclusively picks out books either for or about babies. We try to round out her library haul with books on other topics, if only to keep ourselves from going crazy reading about babies all the time.
Recently, I found two books by one of my favorite children’s author, Lemony Snicket—13 Words (illustrated by the fabulous Maira Kalman), and The Composer is Dead. The first of these I read with Zoe; it is a pleasant affair in which nothing particularly bad happens. Kalman and Snicket introduce the book in a “trailer”:
The Composer is Dead is a witty and engaging introduction to the orchestra, written both for Classical music lovers like myself and for young people not yet acquainted with the joys of the symphony. The premise is that a foolhardy inspector investigates a composer’s death by interrogating each section of the orchestra, beginning with the violins, then the cellos and basses.
“Well, I guess that takes care of the strings,” the Inspector said. “Oh—the Violas! I forgot all about you.”
The book comes with a CD of the San Francisco Symphony performing the original music (by Nathaniel Stookey). Many of the jokes will be over the heads of young readers, but the tone is silly enough that they’ll enjoy it anyway.
You can get a preview of the book and music (which was not included in the library book) here:
Frozen yogurt at Yogiberry in Shirlington is Zoe’s reward for not complaining while I watched the US-Japan Women’s World Cup final. Watching her enjoy a sweet treat helps me forgetnthe pain of the US loss.
Lately Betsy and I have spent a lot of time with Zoe working through activity books (allegedly designed for kindergarteners) of spelling, writing, and arithmetic exercises. Zoe asks to work on them, and seems to enjoy it. Sometimes she gets frustrated–writing the number 5 is vexing her–but she’s making a lot of progress.
Last night, after I forgot something for the millionth time, Zoe said “Daddy, you really have to work on your…” Here she paused to find the right word. “…your thinking.”