Good January Things

It is so frightfully cold outside that everything is different. You don't see anybody on the street (pedestrianism being so very passé in these conditions), but upon entry to any establishment, people share an expression of grim resignation, a sort of, "Oh, shit. This is quite serious"--rather like the nanosecond in which you realize that the pepper that you just ate is roughly seventy times hotter than you'd anticpated; you don't yet feel the breadth and/or depth of its effect, but you know that the agony awaiting you is of untold magnitude. (That sentence was LONG.)

It's fundamentally comical, this mutually adversarial relationship with the hostile elements, but it can play very dramatically, especially when you feel singularly implicated. You know, the point at which camera's view selects your face in a rapid series of freeze-frame zooms. Also, there's usually a score--some doomsday sprong, or synchronize percussive gavel-type nonsense--that punctuates it, as if the sudden switch of focus had been inadequate in conveying tension.

At any rate, I'd venture to say that I'm just too cold to accommodate the brash vitriol that I keep reserved for times like this. Besides, there were and are other concerns afoot.

In the midst of this frigid foofaraw, La Befana visited our boys. When they awakened yesterday morning, I presented them with steamed milk and bagels from their favorite local place (whose official name is "The Bohemian Coffee House," even though Desmond has always [from the age of 16 months, when we moved here] referred to it as "The Hash Bar"--despite his never having been exposed to such a term), and it was all good and as easy as a Saturday morning could be. Then, they were going about their business and happened to look into our living room. And there it was--evidence of La Befana's visit.

Arranged for the boys was a pair of neighboring desks, at which sat a world of creative entertainments. There were hundreds of items--secret keys, pipe cleaners, tiny chests full of buttons and fabric swatches, an antique (i.e., HEAVY) rotary-dial phone, pens, paper. I'll just put a picture here:
And another, so that you can see their sweet faces.
Okay, so that one's a bit blurry. But you get the point.

Both boys were thrilled and swept away by the mystery of it all.

And the day-and-a-half since has been intensely creative. Desmond has made bracelets for all of us (I'm wearing mine right now), all sorts of writing and decorating and VERY IMPORTANT telephone calls, and a beautiful pair of puppets from yesterday afternoon:

Desmond's Puppet

Ivor's Puppet

Last night and all of today have been spent dancing raucously to the music that Molly and I gave each of them to complement La Befana's bevy of Important Things.

A resounding success, this celebration was. And this morning, I awoke to this most-gratifying sight, with which I leave you now:

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