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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Boy's Best Day Ever (Imagined)

When I was in France doing French fantasy things I had this bit of paper with me that I kept looking at. It was mixed in with my travel details and conference information and various telephone numbers and stuff. It was a short essay written in my son's unsteady handwriting, called "My Perfect Day". Herewith, I offer it to you, typed, of course, but otherwise unaltered...


I would get up and take a morning stroll through the woods (1) with my beardy (2) and my dog (3), my cats.

When I get back I would build some Star Wars Legos.

Then I would go and ride a black stallion called Orca (4).

When I get back it is time for lunch.


I would have burritos for lunch and then we would play a game of Carcassonne.

When we were done with our game I would play Star Wars Legos (5).

When I was done on the computer we would go down to Lake Wyola (6) to swim.


When we get back we some sushi and fish pie and then I would go to sleep (7).


1). By 'woods' he doesn't mean Fresno, because... ah... I don't think we have anything called woods here. Sure, when you come through the airport they have big murals of giant sequoias, but don't be fooled. Those are wee drive away, at an altitude gain of 7,000 feet or so. Local? Yes, but a little context doesn't hurt. No, by "woods" Sage means one of the two places he's most familiar with walking in the woods, Western Massachusetts or rural Scotland.

2). "Beardy" refers to a bearded dragon. Sage decided a while back that he wanted to get one, and he's been saving his money ever since. So, perhaps once we're back in Massachusetts...

3). We don't have a dog, but...

4). I'm not familiar with this creature.

5). Hey, it's his perfect day. Star Wars Legos have a big part in it. In this case, though, he actually means a Lego computer game...

6). This would be the lake near us in Massachusetts, about a five minute walk away from the house.

7). Sage has thoughtfully included both my culinary specialty - sushi - and his mother's - fish pie. I assure you they're both marvelous, but we don't usually have them on the same day. This, however, is a perfect day, so all bets are off.

And thats it.

You know what I like about this perfect day? That I could make it happen. That it's not so different than a normal day. The black stallion named Orca might be a bit tricky, but the rest of it...

Well, he's kinda described our life. (Or, the life we'll have back again in about three weeks, when we arrive back in Massachusetts.)

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sage's Poem

This is slightly belated, since Sage's birthday was last month. But I've just found something I wanted to share with you lot. It's the poem my father in law wrote for my son. I'll put this up here, and then eventually move it over to the correct day for the archives.

Laughton did a poem for my daughter, Maya, as well, which you can read here. When he wrote Maya's poem he did so in the days just after her birth. It's a lovely poem, but it was written before he actually knew the person that baby would grow into. Sage's poem was written some years after his birth, when he had very much taken on his own personality and discovered his own interests. That's what's reflected in this poem, and I think it's rather special.


Sage the lion cub
Sharp as a claw
Strong as sinew
Fast as fury

Sage the Humongous
Angel of Africa
Child of the Caribbean
Son of Caledonia
Brother of Beowulf

Sage the Sagacious
Houdini of Haggle
Fount of Rigamarole
Prince of Penultimate

Sage the Silent
Sage the Ear-splitter
Sage the Deaf
Sage the Charming

Sage the Jedi
Warrior of Aslan
Captain of Gryffindor
King of Karate

Aw man!

J Laughton Johnston
Shutesbury Xmas 2005

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Seven Year Old Gets It

Last night I took on the task of explaining the economic crisis to my daughter and son. I choose a lecture format, with the kids standing in front of me as I discoursed on lending practices, the virtues and perils of credit, the need for responsible decision making. Lots of fun stuff. Metaphors in abundance.

I talked for about a half hour before my son suddenly leaped into the air, excited, chopping the air with his hand as he smile demoniacally. Was he attacking me? Had he lost it completely? Was he in revolt?

No. He'd GOTTEN it. He'd figured out what the frick I was talking about! He wasn't just cutting me off either. He seemed genuinely pleased to discover his father wasn't talking utter, mind-numbing jibberjabber.

I was well pleased. (And now they have no excuse for racking up massive credit debt - like their parents once did.)

Now, for tonight's lecture..

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