Posted by: rocketbride | September 2, 2013

we beat on

It’s been a busy few days, our events compressed and layered to take advantage of the last week of summer vacation. On Friday we went to the Ex, following last year’s pattern of two mostly-separate groups pursuing different pleasures. If my parents weren’t along, I would have a more harmonious day: some rest for Maggie and some rides for Blake. But for some reason my parents act as if the world owed Blake rollercoasters, so they treat him and one of his friends to a noisy day of loops and spins. I was bothered by it last year, but this year I just let it all happen; I let them pick him up from my house and spend their day how they wished.

Meantime I had my perfect day at the Ex with my sweet baby and my sweeter husband. We took full advantage of the kiddie playground I used to scorn as “not special enough,” and when we got bored of pushing Maggie on swings we toured Farm, Food & Fun as slowly as we wanted. There was a lot of petting sheep & llamas, let’s say. Maggie got a firetruck tattoo from the fire station that she still wears proudly, and I got to eat pierogies at a crowded table. It was pretty perfect.


On Saturday we took Blake & Maggie to their first Jays game. (Sage was also supposed to be there, but his mom had different plans.) If I’ve ever been to the Dome before I’ve blocked it out; somehow I expected our seats to be in Exhibition Stadium, long aluminium benches with no shelter. Instead we were lodged high above the field, crammed together in the greasy 500’s under a closed dome. Maggie squirmed along the row, through grandparents and back to her parents whenever she got restless (which was always). They only way we could get her to stay still was to feed her, so she ate hotdog, popcorn, grapes and anything else she could get her sticky little hands on. My parents & in-laws sat in the middle of the row, which meant that I was the one who was on the hook for food & snacks throughout the game, which was expensive but ultimately ok since my own restlessness was tamed by my regular treks for lunch, snacks, bathroom breaks for myself, bathroom breaks for the kids, and so on. And I think there was also a baseball game being played.

(Just kidding. I cheered as much as anyone else when we did something good. If my ten year old self could see me at that game, she would have grimaced in disgust before turning back to her John Bellairs book. Having kids is much more distracting than a book, and a much better excuse to eat constantly. It’s probably better that I didn’t find this out until now.)

Things slid downhill after the win. My mom went off with the boys to stand in a massive line to run the bases; we tried to find a good place to see them but I ended up missing them when I was walking around with Maggie. And someone threw up on Mason’s dad, which I found out about just as my mom returned without the boys.

“Well, we’ve lost the kids,” I said when I saw Mason. “And a drunk guy puked on your dad.” We giggled a bit at the magnitude of the disasters befalling us.


Mason has been feeling sick for the last few days, so yesterday we took it easy: church, a 50k bike ride, apple picking, and “The Great Gatsby.” We are no doubt the last people on earth to see Gatsby, so perhaps I am a bit late in recommending it highly. It was awesome!!

And now I’m super-confused about the last line: is the current taking us into the past, so our efforts are to live in a future (as in Gatsby’s relentless self-creation)? Or is the current taking us into the future, and we’re trying desperately to get to the past (as in Gatsby’s obsession with making the past 5 years disappear)? Also, as much as I love both Gatsbys, I have to ask the question posed by J.K. Simmons in “Burn After Reading”: what have we learned from all this? Pretty women are unreliable? Old money always wins? The artist is the only one who emerges unscathed? No one cares who buys the champagne? The pursuit of the American Dream is flawed because the class system is relentless? Don’t let your girlfriend drive your custom car?

gatsby car

I walked out of the theatre chattering incessantly about all of this. Apparently I’m still at it.


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