Face as canvas

Body crayon-faced boy on swing, Berkeley, CA.

Courtesy his sister, who knows whereof she colors all over someone’s face, based on personal experimentation.  I can’t say what in the Sam Hill they were aiming for here. One version was a dog, I remember that. But it kind of took off from “dog” and headed in more of a “Dali” direction.

Feeling a bit less verbal here, a bit more photographic. For perhaps evident reasons. World’s a bit spinny lately.

Lost in a book

At the library, Berkeley, CA.

My boy is reading now and, true to little sibling form, he is doing everything humanly possible to keep up with his big sister.  Devil–and reason–take the hindmost.

He won’t quite torture himself with the erudite works she plows through, fortunately (Camus, Kafka, Sartre, Dostoyevsky). (OK, I exaggerate, but really, she scares me.)

He does keep picking up and chomping into books which his school would probably call “just wrong” books.  As opposed to the “just right” books they suggest. You know, stuff whose vocabulary you understand at least half of.  But I’m not snatching the “just wrong” books from his hands yet. It’s still such a thrill for him to have joined the party, and I can’t bear to tell him–ever in front of his sister–that he might actually enjoy a little lighter fare.  We’ll get to that soon enough.

Yesterday, at the library, he brought over a Roald Dahl book for my inspection (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator) and said, “This is funny-looking!” I had to say, “Yes, that would be because it’s in French.”

He looked at me, blinked for a moment, and returned it to the shelf.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (“just wrong,” but not that far off, and at least in English) is what he chose to keep his imagination spinning.  And spin it did.

Now Some of Us Are Six


On his sixth birthday, Berkeley, CA.

He skipped the entire distance from midway through the school yard and down the street to our trusty steed. That crown’s his teacher’s handiwork, bless those amazing, amazing people.

Much afoot of late. Same day this chap turned six, his grandfather, whose name he bears from the middle on out, took a spill and wound up back in the ER at the local hospital, whence he had not a few days before exited, post-minor stroke.  That same night, yrs truly promptly fell ill with The Influenza, which is only juuuuust beginning to saunter off, stage left.  Accursed thing. Pops is more or less stable now, “salad speech” pretty much a head-scratching artifact of the past.  Though the memory, shaky to begin with, is notably diminished and diminishing. Cheery spirit still intact, lard love him.

And the boy? He’s wearing six very, very well. Qoth A. A. Milne, back in 1927, when his grandfather had just turned six:

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever;
So I think I’ll be six now
for ever and ever.