Where I’ve been and where I’ll go / Happy birthday to Young A

I’ve been away the past few days. From the stats I can see a few folks have been checking in on me. Sorry! I guess I didn’t mention that after J got back from skiing in Utah, he had about six hours until we all flew to New Orleans. We were there for four lovely, action-packed days. Having the boys along made it a different kind of trip than I’ve had there in the past, but it was different in a good way. Enjoying the city is easier when you aren’t hungover. We took buses and streetcars everywhere, and they arrived on schedule, without fail. We visited giraffes, anteaters, and alligators in a marathon five hours at the Audubon Zoo. We played mini golf at City Park to a soundtrack of great New Orleans music. The boys ran around on a field pretending to play football, with the son of an ex-NFL player who was probably expecting them to actually know how to play football (they don’t). We ate beignets at Cafe du Monde, and Young A (who was sleep-deprived) freaked out about being dusted head to foot in powdered sugar.

And Young A turned six, while we were there. I didn’t write him my customary post on his birthday, because we were too busy celebrating it. His former babysitter lives in New Orleans, so she came by to celebrate with us, and then babysat while J and I went out to Rock n Bowl for Zydeco night.

Young A seems to be changing at such a rapid rate. On the trip, I noticed him becoming extremely outgoing with strangers, speaking to them loudly and clearly and saying random things. One night there was a cop at the door of a crowded ice cream/pastry shop, and Young A said to him point blank, “I think police like food with holes in it.” He was referring, of course, to the fact that in our neighborhood, the police congregate around the bagel shop, and he’s aware that cops also like doughnuts. It was a weird thing to say, but hilarious.

Young A still bursts into tantrums headlong, with gusto, like he was born to have them. It’s developmental, I think, so we’re trying to ride them out. He can still be reset with a hug and sometimes even laugh himself out of his misery (though to attempt that can be very risky). He reads the same books over and over again, obsessively. He can’t be relied on to like the same foods from one day to the next. He has elevated nose-picking to a layer in the hierarchy of needs. This is Young A at six. I eagerly await his gap-toothed smile, his funny, temporary lisp.

Here are some vacation snaps. I’ll be flipping through them tomorrow as I wait for my MRI/CT scans (which begin at an uncharitable 7 a.m.), and then wait to see Dr K and finally, Dr P, for results. A marathon day of confronting mortality, which is hopefully not imminent.

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