Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween and the Red Sox and Dumbledore and...

So happy Halloween -- so not my holiday, but Lily had a great time. Work had party yesterday, the two parenting/family magazines getting together and and decorating and dressing up and all. It was so sweet to see how everyone, every single person who works there, is really into kids. They all love kids. I mean, sure, they should, but they really do! They walk to talk. Gotta love that.

Then tonight Dave and Lily went a party in Amherst, hosted by Peggy, Ren's mom, the Party Queen, and co-host of the weekly Dungeons and Dragons game. This was good old fashioned musical chairs, duck duck goose, and all that, and all the kids had a great time, I hear. Then they went trick or treating. I got home by about 6:30 and had one group of kids (more probably came by earlier but I gather the street usually just gets a few). Dave and Lily had made a couple of great jack o' lanterns and I lit them up. If his pics came out I'll post them.

It's struck me lately that Lily, who will be nine on Nov. 10 (!!!), is really growing up. She wants to be alone while she's in the bathroom brushing her teeth and all in the morning and night, and (while Dave and I are both suspicious that she might not be actually brushing her teeth, we are giving her the benefit of the doubt. So far her teeth aren't black) she just seems older.Like, I'm happy she still sits on my lap and hugs me and jumps into my arms when I come home, but I keep wondering when it will stop.

School is great, I hear from Lily, and we are very happy parents. Sunday night we went to the headmistress's house for a buffet supper for new parents. It's a great way to meet other parents (there are four new kids in Lily's grade, three of them in her class), as well as the powers that be. I told the head that it was very kind of her to host a party for Dave on his 45th birthday and later, when we went around the circle and introduced ourselves, he said, I'm Dave and she said, and it's your birthday! and we all sang a rousing round of Happy Birthday. It was a nice touch.

More and more it's clear that Mrs. Mullens is the greatest gift for Lily this year. I can see Lily struggling to stay loyal to Brooklyn, but it's increasingly hard, and Mrs. Mullens is a big reason for her comfort. Over the weekend Lily was very excited about the Red Sox, well, very excited is pushing it, but she talked a lot about it and was glad when they won the Series on Sunday. But yesterday she told me she wasn't a Red Sox fan, she's a Mets or a Yankees fan, whichever, she's not really a baseball fan.

So, I asked her, as I do every now and then, what she's thinking about Brooklyn these days, and she said she will always be a New Yorker and she would move back there now if she could. I said, Really? And what about Mrs. Mullens? And Bement? And all the kids who are coming to your birthday party (at Build-A-Bear in the Holyoke Mall! Kill me now!), what about them? You wouldn't see them. She paused. And didn't answer. And I shut up.

I am going to lay off, but I am desperate to hear her say she's glad we moved here. Of course, this is Lily we are talking about, so the more I want it the less likely it will happen. She is very headstrong, asserts her independence. I wonder where she gets that! And it doesn't really matter, because she is here, and she does like it, although she still does miss her hometown. It's hard to switch loyalties, especially because we all adored Brooklyn and cheered it frequently. "Brooklyn, rah!"

We had two nice visits last week, from our friend David, who introduced us, for a couple of days (hi, Dave!) and from Grandma Judy. We tried a restaurant, Butternuts, in Hadley, for the first time. It wasn't bad. David was here during the week so I didn't see him as much as Dave did, but the three of us did stay up late one night knocking around Harry Potter, and Dumbledore the poof, and Snape, and the ending, and all. I have reread parts of book seven many times and was able to expound on it gloriously. It was fun.

About Dumbledore, I think the reaction to Jo's announcement is hilarious. I love all the self-righteous comments, especially along the times of, "She can't do that! The books are over!" and endless discussions about why she would do this, and if she really wanted to support diversity and show a positive character she'd have made a major character gay (I think Neville, no?), and what were the clues, anyway (a good half dozen in book seven which one queer critic says he and his friends caught and debated all summer) (I picked up on a couple but decided I was reading into things and quickly dismissed it). Rebecca Traister on Salon had a great essay; read some of the comments following it.

My feeling is, she's J.K. Rowling, the most successful author ever, and she can do whatever the hell she likes. Thank god she let Harry defeat Voldemort; thank god she's all about love, and not hate. That must bode well for our world, no?

I find it extraordinary how we Harry fans seem to feel that these people are real, at least some part of us does. We feel a sense of ownership and a clear idea of what happens to them all post-Voldemort; I think it's Traister who says Jo's wrong, Harry would never go work at the Ministry, clearly he becomes a teacher at Hogwarts and eventually headmaster. I could see it, but I think he would prefer being an auror. He would never want to be stuck behind a desk--and an authority figure, to boot. But hey, I feel like she does know them best, and it's her book, she gets to say whatever she likes.

Grandma was our weekend guest, following David, and she helped me cook an Indian feast for Dave's birthday celebration on Saturday. His friends/college roommates Lonnie and Jay came, with their families. It was a lot of fun. Here's the list (I started at about 8 am): Curry chicken, potatoes and cauliflower, chickpeas, spicy rice, lemon rice, cilantro chutney, walnut chutney, raita, I feel like I'm missing something. Didn't have time to make the cabbage. Oh, and Lily and I made a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, too. All from scratch. Oh, yeah, I made the batter for veggie pakoras and fried cauliflower and fried paneer, and Dave fried that up. And I heated up some breads, paratha and so forth, that I had purchased. It was great!

On Sunday we took Grandma up to Bement, and Lily's classroom was unexpectedly open, so Grandma got a tour. Cool beans! Later we walked around Northampton looking at all the little shops. There's great gifty stuff for the upcoming holidays, some great stores. Watch your stockings!

Grandma was snug in the family room with the pellet stove fired up all night, the glow of the flames and the soft ping of the drop of pellets lulling her to sleep. Trust me, it was cozy. No, don't trust me, come see for yourself!


  1. Hi, Sasha! Thanks again for the great hospitality!!

  2. Oh...and I love the Arborpuff, Edidor, and Lilypad thing!


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