(My father helping Erik blow bubbles. Erik calls the large bubbles "dandy ones.")
I had a good day today. I don't seem to have many these days. It was rather lovely.
Despite the heat, autumn is in the air. There is the scent of earth and ailing foliage baking in the hot sun. This warm mixture of death and life fills my nostrils. I roll down the windows in my vehicle and let all of it into my lungs. I drive past my old schools, one of which has recently been razed to make way for a new one, and feel more than a little nostalgic. Last week I drove past the ancient brick building that housed my fourth grade physical education class and had flashbacks of running laps over the glossy wooden floor. My gym instructor sometimes wore paint on her face that make her look like a rather fetching version of Gene Simmons. If the boys didn't behave, she would kiss them and leave black and white smudges on their cheeks. These days that kind of stunt would trigger a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Now that I think about it, she was probably the last gym teacher I had that was remotely interested in kissing boys, anyway.
Erik continues to do well off dairy. He refuses to consume soy milk but will eat soy yogurt and cheese. His bowel issues have almost completely resolved. He has discovered the joy of asking more complex questions. He has queried, "Are you ready to go now?" and "Do you watch Elmo?" He seems to be realizing that these kinds of questions start conversations much more effectively than random words (Boppa! Monster trucks! Wheels!) or rumbling engine sounds, which previously made strangers squint in confusion and look to me for translation. He still tells jokes that make sense only to him, and he laughs hysterically at them. He is amazing. His motor skills are still horrendous, and he doesn't show signs of substantial improvement in this area, but he gets around quite well if he is not distracted. Once he is outside in a bustling environment, he tends to stumble and fall more. Amazingly, it looks like soccer comes naturally to him. While he can dart about kicking a ball, he seems quite annoyed when the concept of passing it back and forth is suggested.
Tonight we just finished my father's birthday dinner, and the house smells like meatloaf and potatoes. I stuck a candle into the glistening crust of a freshly-baked apple pie my mother made, and we sang "Happy Birthday." Erik sang the loudest. He loves birthdays. If you ever want him to sing to you on yours, just give me a call, and I'll put him on for you.
All in all, it was a very good day.