Today is a happy birthday for the oldest of my boy grandchildren—Sawyer Hudgeons (if I could remember all four of his names, I’d use them). My Austin hard-rock kid is thirteen today. Sawyer definitely marches to his own drummer….er, guitar. He’s been going to the Austin School of Rock for at least two years now, and shows real talent both on the guitar and singing, performs easily and happily. Besides that, he’s a happy, sweet boy. I can hardly believe it’s thirteen years since we all rushed to Austin to celebrate his arrival.
And today was Jacob’s belated—adult—party. In truth, Jordan used his birthday as the occasion for her first big party in my house. The house has a happy party record and over the last twenty-five years has been the scene of cocktail parties, baby showers, humongous birthday celebrations, and most of all—tree trimming parties. In recent years, they’ve been strictly no-tree tree-trimming parties, but they were as full of laughter and love and food and wine as ever.
Jordan once again showed herself the mistress of party giving. Tonight was potluck, with some really good contributions. Jordan and Christian provided beer and wine—we’re stocked for months to come—along with meatballs. And a sheet cake. Everyone gathered round to sing happy birthday to Jacob, and I looked at the people—a happy mix of people of all ages. Two of Jordan’s friends who are special to me brought significant others I’d not met before and was glad to meet tonight, though they need to come back when it’s a little quieter and we can visit. One of those longtime friends, David, has been like family since he was fifteen. As he left the cottage tonight he said, “Tell the blog world hello for me.” So there you have his greetings.
Some people drifted out to the cottage, and I had a separate party there but went inside for the cake-cutting. Lots of fun. Now there’s a group on the patio outside my door, and I’ll join them in a few minutes.
A bit of trivia: I wrote Jacob a note and gave it to him this morning--long, funny story but my point here is that he handed me the note and said, "I can't read cursive, Juju." I had to read it to him. I am horrified--and a bit angry--that this child completed fifth grade without reading cursive. I vaguely remember they studied it, maybe third grade, and practiced but apparently not long enough nor hard enough. How will he function in the world? How will he sign a check. Someone pointed out to me that today they don't sign checks. Cursive is irrelevant, but I read somewhere learning cursive fine tunes the brain, just as music does. I'm on the prowl for workbooks with the Palmer method.
And an odd new imaginative exercise: designing niche literature courses. For some reason last night, in that twilight between sleep and full wakefulness, I was designing a lit course around the theme of old men. I decided to start with King Lear and include Tuesdays with Morrie. Didn’t get much further, but the idea has great possibilities. Is it an indication I want to teach again? No way. I love my retirement life and my writing life.