girls and dreams


It was back to the soccer arena today, but this time it wasn't for a rib-wrenching. This time it was for a girl's birthday party.

Michelle turned 10 today. Iris, her mom, rented the arena for the celebration which included an hour of turf time and facilities for the cake and ice cream afterwards.

Even though there were some boys there, the day was very girly.

See the pictures. Can you hear the giggling, the whining, the Backstreet Boys throbbing from the boombox? I knew that you could.

Ten and eleven-year-old girls are on the cusp of discovering something about themselves. They are about to become aware of the power they can have over boys, an elixir which they may become expert at brewing, and that will, depending on the girl, ferment, grow toxic, make a perfect blend, evaporate, burn, attract, repel, lie dormant, consume, or nourish any number of males with whom they come in contact throughout their lives.

They are old enough now to feel the inevitability of womanhood, but too young to know its confidence. The bravura they exhibit remains within the confines of their fleeting sorority, a coven fueled by pristine romance and decorated with stickers. At this age, the girlishness fills up their whole beings, and as the years pass it may come to reveal itself only in dwindling ruffles and flourishes. They'll catch themselves mid-thirties and wonder whatever happened to that girl and, one hopes, be glad that she never really went away.

There's a tendency to view in a negative light adults who exhibit boyishness and girlishness, and perhaps rightly so. It can be frightening for a member of one sex to run across a group of the opposite sex whipped frothy in its own hormones, but I think this is mostly because it's you against a herd, and if you look at them wrong there might be a stampede. The truth is, a dozen women at a baby shower, simply by virtue of the fact that they are a dozen women at a baby shower, could kill a man. But you've seen how powerfully charming it can be when a man or woman alone lets out some of the boy or girl in themselves. It's a big part of what makes them who they are. Intimate stuff.

* * * * * * *

Mike and Lizzie and their kids, Luke and Emma, came over for dinner tonight. Viv made a huge pot of vegetable beef soup and a couple of apple pies. Lizzie put together a salad and we had ourselves our first autumn supper with friends. It's chilly out at night now, and that, mixed with the feeling of the early dark, the scent of fresh-baked pie, and music of George Shearing, makes for a helluva swell time.

The most amusing part of the dinner table conversation centered around Mike's propensity for bad dreams. Apparently, very late the other night, as Lizzie lay up reading in bed next to him, he came out with a slow blood-curdling death groan. It woke up the two youngest kids, and the 17-year-old Matt, who was on the phone, yelled "There's something happening in my parents' bedroom," slammed down the phone, and ran in to see what was the matter. With the whole family on the edge of terror as they stood over their still sleeping father, he let out another grisly bone-chilling moan. Lizzie put out her hand to quiet the kids, then gently tapped Mike on the shoulder till he woke up.


No response.


"Uh. Yeah?"

"What was it?" she asked.

"Polar bears" he said.

There was lots of really really hard hard laughing. Yeah, I know, you had to be there, but there'll no more Klondike Bars before bed for Mr. Mikey.


Today's Music:

"Later" -- George Shearing -- THE BEST OF GEORGE SHEARING (1955 - 1960)


Wisdom of the Day:

"Dreaming men are haunted men."

- Stephen Vincent Benét