Spurred by my scratched-cornea ordeal, I just ordered some prescription sunglasses online through a sunglasses website. I used a Wikipedia entry to understand my prescription card, a ruler to measure my pupillary distance according to instructions on another store’s website, Paypal to handle the transaction, and our office copier to make and email a scan of my Rx to the vendor. All very casual; I hardly noticed even doing any of this until it was all done.
On my Sunday-morning walk with the girls (come to think of it, the next time Julia asks, “Why don’t we go to church on Sundays?” (as she did on Sunday), I’m going to reply, “Because it would interfere with our walks”), Vivi and Julia reenacted this little routine at a certain corner two blocks from home: I crouch down, clasp hands with one of them, and then lift as that kid climbs up me – her feet on my shins, knees, waist (if I’m lucky), stomach, chest, shoulders (and if you’re Vivi, my face). (The other kid stands nearby, shouting, “Me next! Me next!”)
It’s fun, one of those things that strike me as quintessentially dad-ly, and they’re both still diminutive enough that I can actually do it. But as I helped Julia scale my torso for the third or fourth time, I looked down at her legs and realized with a start that they were kid legs, not baby legs – gangly, not chubby; lightly tanned, not pink; lean, not thick; long, not stubby. I missed this transformation, which is all the more shameful because she has worn only skirts and dresses – no shorts or pants – since May. Before long, she’ll be as tall as me and hopefully using those legs to run ten miles or swim 1,000 meters or bike a century – or patrol the stacks at the library or help her sister through the first day of seventh grade.
The only way today could have been a more perfect summer day is if it had involved ice cream, and I’m about to take care of that omission. I think I spent about eight hours of quality time with the girls today, including a long walk this morning and an hour at the playground this afternoon. Everyone – even me! – was in a good mood, and both girls were in excellent form: being silly, trying new things, helping each other out, refusing to fuss… Here they are, attired in their finest, during the morning walk. I don’t recall, but I’ll bet Julia is telling me that she’s Mary and that Vivi is Jesus. With these killer outfits, who could argue?
1. I absent-mindedly used silicon spray, not saline solution, to clean my contacts.
2. Because I wanted to see how many different eye medications I could get. (Three and counting!)
3. I make the poor decision to act on my life-long desire to kiss a porcupine.
4. I recently led a secret Special Forces mission in western Afghanistan which included an ambush of al-Qaeda forces during a sandstorm.
5. The gods answered my prayer for the opportunity to hear the phrase “epithelial erosion” again.
6. I tried to perform LASIK on myself with a CD-player laser, a thimbleful of whiskey, and a paring knife.
7. Because after you get one scratch on your cornea, you’re forever susceptible to renewed scratches in that same spot.
Vivi, imitating her big sister, has lately been making a point of sitting, diapered or not, on the potty chair before her bath. Until tonight, it was just an exercise. Tonight, though, she actually went! She grinned up at me as I attended to any of another half-dozen pre-bath activities and shouted, “Potty! Potty!” I haven’t been happier to wipe a bottom since about this time last summer, when her sister was trying to get into the potty habit. At this rate, Vivi will be toilet trained by the time Julia heads back to preschool in September. That won’t happen, but a dad can dream. All that diaper money…
As promised the other day, I found a couple Playmobil nativity scene sets on eBay last week. They arrived earlier this week, and Julia’s been playing with them ever since. After setting everything up and playing with them for a while each evening – including a full recitation of the YouTube video, right down to the sound effects and the background music – she asks me move to the entire sacred diorama to a safe haven at the edge of the dining table, where (she thinks) Vivi can’t get at it. Tonight, all this play also entailed creating a backdrop for the stable: brown hills, green trees, a night-blue sky, and of course the Star of Bethlehem. (Click through for notes on Flickr.)
As I hurriedly made this backdrop and Julia excitedly played with the various figures this evening, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. I’ve spent almost exactly half my life – since taking Cal Roetzel’s “Intro to the New Testament” class at Macalester in 1992 – rejecting Christianity with more or less vehemence, and this is what it’s got me: a little girl who can recite big chunks of the Nativity story and a fun evening fabricating a diorama for her Bible toys.
Welcome to the new Blowing & Drifting. I’ve shifted the blog to WordPress, for lots of mundane but important reasons:
Sandvox, the Mac-only application which I had been using for B&D, was getting increasingly troublesome to use, so I decided that I wouldn’t.
I wanted to be able to post to my blog from any computer, not just my home Mac.
I got sick of handling the behind-the-scenes IT wankery I’d created for myself, partly because I’m not a terribly savvy sysadmin and partly because Sandvox wasn’t making things easy on me.
Finally, WordPress seems pretty cool, user-friendly, and attractive.
So here we are! You can still find links to the old Blowing & Drifting – and the older, now defunct) Xferen and After School Snack blogs – in the blogroll, down at right, and I’ll set up redirects in an effort to keep any older bookmarks pointing toward this new page. But you’re of course welcome to bookmark this page or add the new RSS feed to your reader, since this is where you’ll find the new stuff.