Today is Halloween…ho hum. I’m not a great supporter or fan, though I play along with simple traditions of homemade costumes and candy given at my doorway with a smile. Kira will be a cat, as it appears to be her favorite animal. (I will share photos tomorrow) Yesterday I brought her along to Jack’s horse riding lesson, thinking she would be swept away by the beauty and elegance of the horses, but she spent all of her time caressing a tabby cat. When a horse in the distance let out a whinny, she would lift her head and memorize the sound as coming from the big animal under her brother. I won’t be surprised when she points at a picture of a horse in a book and repeats the sound. She’s has good brain connections between her ears.
Guess what I was doing fourteen years ago exactly today? Giving birth to Kevin. It is my custom on the birthdays of my children to raise a toast to my willingness to endure that anguish. I don’t mind a nod of credit now and then. I think I’m going to have a pedicure to celebrate the relief that I don’t have to give birth today. And I’ll pop a batch of brownies into the oven for the birthday boy. He’s not much into cake.
Kevin asked for an electric razor for his birthday. I’m serious. When he was born he had black hair all over his shoulders and back, and even on the tips of his ears. He’s had a mustache since he was twelve. His legs have fur. I can hear him upstairs right now trying out his new razor for the first time. It’s so odd to be the mother of four boys. I am thankful that Kira is spreading a little feminine flair in this home. We need it around here. At least I do.
In the spirit of Halloween I’ll share a fright, a real one, not one fabricated for a holiday. When I was in Uganda two weeks ago and we traipsed through twenty acres of bush we encountered a group of playful children. It’s quite possible I was the first mzungu they had ever seen. I can at least say I was the first red head with blue eyes to ever appear…and a woman in trousers for that matter! Horror!
The children crowded me, chased after me, and smiled wide when they got near enough to have a good look at me. It is most odd to be a spectacle. Some of the braver children would quickly, daringly reach out and stroke my arm to see what pale skin feels like to the touch. They would retract quickly with giggles and screeches. They followed us for some of our walk until we came to an open clearing where more children appeared. One little boy was carrying a one year old baby on his hip. At the sight of me the baby began to scream in terror. He hid behind his brother refusing to look at this horribly scary white woman with red hair and blue eyes. The poor baby’s fear was high entertainment for all of the children. I felt really bad for the baby, and admit, I didn’t much enjoy being the scariest looking thing he’d ever seen. I didn’t even need a costume to be featured in the haunted house. Wah.