Saturday, December 10, 2016


A double birthday party!  My great-grandson, Cole and his dad, Jason,  (no one named Brooke -- that's just the handy illustration). Jason's birthday was this week and Cole's will be next week but the party was this afternoon before some of the family had to go to a church function. Cole is my second great-grandson; so, there's an older brother and a little sister and a littler brother.  This is a family that seems to be in some competition about large families. A generously sized family you might say. These kids have a big compliment of relatives. On the grand side there's me and my ex-husband (who doesn't live close enough for such parties). The whole quartet of grandparents were there. Plus most of the cousin. One of Jason's sisters also has four kids, of similar ages, and another has two. And an absent sister has three.  Jason and Cori live in their first house, not a large one but with a playroom in the basement and sufficient bedrooms for everyone. 

It was crowded and noisy although it was a controlled chaos. Without undue authoritarianism from any of the adults, all the children obey when asked to sit down or go to the play room. The only crying came when one bumped her head and the two babies whimpered as babies do. Cole's gifts were heavily Star Wars related and all were excited but when told to leave them in their boxes until after the party no one fussed. From what I understand of other families I think this is unusual. I'm old enough to be grumpy about rowdy kids. And also old enough to appreciate what I think is good parenting.  And wisely controlled chaos.

All day I have been celebrating another birthday that is not today, but the 16th of December. The classical music station I listen to is doing a Beethoven weekend. I always quietly celebrate the gift of Beethoven's music and appreciate that our all-classical radio station recognize his greatness and plays many, many of his works. The local station is not very adventurous in its programming but this afternoon they played his Choral Fantasy which I have not heard them play in the eight years I've lived here. As I write they are playing the 5th symphony. I want to hear many different classical pieces on the radio as a rule but a day of Beethoven immersion is a pleasure.  I am not a new-agey person who "celebrates" this and "honors" that in some mushy way; but I feel enormous gratitude that Beethoven (a head above other composers) had the genius, the utterly amazing creativity despite a very, very difficult life, to create such life affirming beauty. Many times when I was feeling unhappy about something I have listened to Beethoven's music and felt better knowing how find the human genius can be.

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