This was not the post I intended to write this morning.  No, what follows is what I expected to write.  It is this morning’s latest catastrophe that I did not expect. Julia turned 21 this weekend and I guess I should have written and posted with pictures before this morning because . . . well, because stuff happens and in this house, it happens like a hurricane or a tsunami.

We had a long, quiet weekend—celebrating with a big shopping at H Mart, an Asian supermarket, where Julia picked out old favorite noodle packs, candies and cookies.  We found frozen pork buns and the best frozen dumplings we’ve ever had. She ventured into a jar of kimchi, found BTS merch and of course, we got some mochi.  It was a black sesame mochi ball that held the lit candle that was ceremoniously carried into Cheshire’s dining room after we had feasted on Korean take out.  We sang, Julia blew the candle out.  I wished that we could have some sort of a normal birthday celebration at some future time, at the same time grateful for the generous scraps of what we have.  

Julia’s original wish was to go to a concert for her birthday, but being the ever cautious Covid respecting parent, I was unwilling to buy tickets for an event last weekend or in the near future.  Even with our new KN-95’s, I don’t feel it is a risk worth taking.  As of today, neither of us has been sick with covid of any sort.  We have been very careful, extremely boring and risk adverse.  And I know our status could change at any moment.

Julia alternative wish was to go shopping for the neo-goth, punk, lolita clothing that she is favoring.  There is almost no one in the area selling anything near like it.  We found one store in Salem that has boots she is interested in, and considered going thrift store shopping for some clothing pieces that could be adapted.  I’m not crazy about the style because Julia will not be able to wear it often in her day-to-day existence.  It might be appropriate for anime themed parties (if there will ever be parties again) or to the next Con in August, but little else.  Still, I was willing to do either with the caveat that we could not expect to find some “perfect” piece.  I was willing until weather reports suggested that Saturday would be brutally cold, and the weather gurus nailed it.

The final suggestion was a trip to H Mart, with a short visit to the Burlington Mall, for some cool tee shirt or the like, and then retiring to Cheshire’s house for take out and some movie on a streaming service.  

And so, that was what we did, substituting the movie for a few episodes of Singles Inferno, a Korean dating show somewhat akin, but completely different from the Bachelor series.  It was not like any birthday celebration that I’ve ever had, but like so much right now, like so much these last two years, we made do and were grateful for what we had.

On Sunday, the real birthday day, Julia began working with/playing with the wool that I had ordered after her library felting craft night.  She was interested in doing more, I ordered on line and she began work.  Because I ordered on line, I did not know the size of what we had ordered and we now have enough felting wool to host a felting party.  She did a fine job making a tiny Totoro as a present to me.  Totora is my favorite anime character and so I am very happy with her result.  As she worked, I made somewhat Asian food for our dinner and we listened to music from our favorite Miyazaki movies.  Then, we spent the evening watching more of Singles Inferno.

Julia wanted to bring in cupcakes to her program on Tuesday to celebrate her birthday, so on Monday we baked.  Julia did most of the mixing and measuring and baking (with supervision), so our progress was slow and steady.  She was burned out by the time they were cool and needed icing but next time when we are making fewer cakes, she wants to try her hand at piping icing.  I know she can do it.  

In terms of getting ready for a new week, it was an excellent weekend.  There was nothing to recover from or worry about a reaction from; however, this morning, Julia’s cello took a tumble and went down with a crash. The keyboard flew in one direction, nut (the raised strip of wood at the top of the fingerboard) in another.  The strings made a distressing sound as the bridge buckled under the body of the instrument and the scroll and pegbox came to rest on the floor in an unfortunate angle that immediately reminded me of a warrior’s broken neck. 

And that, I will tackle in words after I figure out what I am going to do about a cello for Julia.

Afternote: Reading this over, I cannot help but notice my almost desperate plea for life as we knew it to return.  We expected to “go back to normal” in March, 2020, but that time of optimistic expectation is long over.  Amazing how long it takes the optimism to fade.  

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