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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dakota’s family birthday party last night had a pirate theme to it, so there was a lot of throaty “Aaarrrgh” growling, and— Well, that’s actually pretty much the extent of the pirate role playing, although the children got jolly roger hats and sacks of doubloons, and the décor was appropriately themed. Probably just enough swash was buckled for one party.

More importantly, everyone was on their best behavior, even the adults. Aiden played up a minor leg injury a bit dramatically, insisting on being carried around, but his devoted oldest brother D.J. was more than happy to accommodate him. And I think he only came close to dropping him a couple of times. Aiden did fine pedaling his “dirt bike” around the back yard, so I don’t think he’ll need much time in rehab. I suspect he’s tearing around his house like his old self by now, in fact.

Kylie wore an adorable brown print dress and charmed the socks off everyone, as usual. She’s always a little shy at first, and it’s more noticeable because her brothers are not shy at all. But before long she was standing on the back stoop and telling me, “Come outside!” When I got out there, she asked if she could talk to me, and I agreed, so she did, pretty much nonstop. And while Dakota constantly ducked the camera at his own party, Kylie was forever asking that her picture be taken.

D.J.’s helpfulness wasn’t limited to catering to Aiden’s injury. He seemed to be trying to tune into everyone’s needs, volunteering for whatever assignments were being handed out. He was more subdued than usual, and quite affectionate. Like all of us, he has good days and bad days, and last night he was having one of his good days. That good vibe permeated the whole house, making for an altogether pleasant evening.

12 August 2008

Dakota blowing candles. (More photos.)

Dakota doesn’t always express himself the way most people do, but it was obvious he was enjoying his night. He and I have spent some time together lately, and we have a kind of shorthand verbal game that we play with each other. It’s like an avant garde version of “Who’s On First.” He loves to quote his favorite movies, but if one of us makes a joke out of it, that joke becomes part of the dialogue the next time we play the game. It’s good that we can deviate from the script sometimes, because I can’t always remember who his favorite character in The Land Before Time is (it’s Chomper, the friendly Tyrannosaurus, duh).

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