It’s Halloween, and you know what that means around our house?
It means we end up with more than the usual allotment of sugar, that’s what, because in addition to the annual shakedown of the neighbors it is also Lauren’s birthday.
Lauren loves her birthday. She loves it with the heat of a thousand flaming suns. Where I could go years without remembering my own birthday – and have, on more than one occasion – Lauren looks forward to every birthday pretty much from the moment she wakes up after the last one.
And now she is 9, her last single-digit year.
It’s been a frantically busy semester here in Baja Canada, with Kim trapped at Home Campus until all hours and me alternating between being glued to my chair typing lectures for classes and driving the 180-mile round trip to teach some of those classes twice a week. So a lot of festivities are subdued this year.
The girls did get a couple of pumpkins, though, which they spent the weekend carving. We can now let them carve them on their own these days, and they did a marvelous job. Tabitha’s is a cat, of course, and Lauren’s is a rabbit, in honor of our two newest pets. They are now guarding the front steps of the house.
Tonight the girls have decided to go to the neighborhood of one of Lauren’s friends for trick-or-treating, since so much of the point of this holiday is to spend it with friends and they really don’t have any in the neighborhood now that the girls across the street have either grown up or moved away. Kim is with them, leaving me at home to hand out the candy in between typing up my lecture on the Roman Empire and its successor states (because as an American historian, I’m fully versed on that topic – it is often said that American politics is Byzantine; now I’ll find out for sure).
This year we don’t have any cat costumes, for the first time in years. We have a ninja and a panda, and if we could combine them we’d get Jack Black.
Lauren will celebrate her birthday this coming weekend, once the sugar rush wears off. We’re not really sure what’s going to happen with it, but no doubt it will be fun.
It amazes me that she is that old. It amazes me that I must be that much older. It is astonishing how she has grown into a person of her own now, with strong ideas of how the world should run, a unique sense of style, and a zest for everyday life that is a model for us all.
Happy birthday, Lauren. I’m proud of you.