YES WE STARTED “RIDDLEY WALKER” FOR CLAUDE’S 12th BIRTHDAY WEEKEND

Consider this a marker post and I will add more to it this week. We are busy now — we’ve waited until tonight to watch last night’s SNL with David Byrne. More later.

Well. First of all I have to say I think I will always be sentimental about the current SNL cast, because it is the cast in which my kids started watching the show and we have all watched so much of it together absolutely dying with laughter. It is a good cast. We have spent some time showing them the original cast and other legends, which they like, but… Kate and Colin and Aidy et al are really their SNL and I love that.

That was David Byrne’s first performance on SNL in 31 years. It was only natural that we get right to it.

Claudia had a very nice birthday — her FOURTH birthday as a homeschooler, i think?! — and it was her last birthday without a “teen” at the end of it or one where she was a straight-up adult. So that’s that.

I thought it would make me sadder, but it doesn’t. Béla had come to me some time ago having worked out the number of weeks there were until he turned eighteen. Since this was of such interest to both of them, we invested in some glass marbles and found an appropriate jar (which we almost immediately broke the top of — it’s now a dangerous ritual we carry out every week) and filled the jar with one marble for every week until Claudia is eighteen. (Presuming Béla will have virtually all the same freedoms at that point.) They NEVER forget to throw a marble out every week, usually into the construction site across the street. That used to be the park where they spent so much time (and where we have literally hundreds of pictures — for every season of every year of their lives) and which will be finished, who knows when? We were excited at first, but no one is as excited about it as they were. Everyone has plans beyond that now. And Claudia, at twelve — with a new music regimen, new hair — is kind of embarking on a New Claudia phase.

She actually got her first gift the night before her birthday. Béla is so generous. “I don’t need therapy… I need LIZZO,” reads this shirt, and that has darker humor to it than most people can imagine. My kids.

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And while even a week ago she was stuffing herself into the kilt Tucker had custom made for her EIGHTH birthday, he had a new one made to her specifications this year.

On her birthday morning, Béla also had gel markers and a new sketchbook for her, and “How To Draw Black People” by Malik Shabazz had FINALLY arrived — one long Kickstarter campaign — and it looks great (and will not only help her draw but help her sculpt her marionette.)

She also got some new books — Natalie Haynes and Ursula K. Le Guinn — because she has been punting it on her reading lately and needs a push upward. Sorry, Rick Riordan, she may enjoy rereading your instanovels as a comforting childhood memory, but this girl is ready for stronger stuff. (As if “Riddley Walker” wasn’t going to provide that.)

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(She has finished that book already, by the way.)

We had lunch at P’unkburger with our “Macy’s Family” — two friends and their younger-than-mine kids with whom we meet to do the Dickens village and Santa photos yearly. Claudia’s necklace from Tara and Xavier is so perfect for her.

She went on over the weekend to go to the movies with friends and have a fancy lunch with a close girlfriend. Béla took his good camera so we have tons of magazine-quality pictures of the girls in an opulent setting but her friend’s parents are careful about internet images so, no blog pics. Come check out my phone!

Sunday, we dropped off cupcakes at Omo Kulu Mele, getting in the door minutes before Claudia did and setting her up for a giant “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and hug from her fellow dancers. It was lovely to see.

And we DID give a ceremonial start to Riddley, really only reading the passage about killing the boar — but will finish Chapter One this week for sure. We have a new coffee shop opening a block away soon and are excited about doing schoolwork in it (even though today we are using the little vegan diner a block away).

My twelve-year old girl. I should be amazed and unable to wrap my head around it, but no, it feels right.

 

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