Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah they were all yellow...

Yesterday was B-Day on Smith Avenue as our Irish Princess celebrated her 23rd birthday. There was no time to attend to the computer, as I was busy on the lawn disbursing plastic “bees” before I left for work. (The secret to the bees?...buy up lots of plastic Easter eggs from the 75% and 90% off sales. Pull out the yellow ones. Save the others for another project or another Easter. Use a Magic Marker or Sharpie to put stripes and a face on each yellow egg. Do as many as possible before the marker fumes make you ill. This will happen more quickly if you must work in a closed room while the birthday”BEE” wanders about the house. Pick up bees within a day or two, before the lawn maintenance men arrive or family members and pets start walking on them. Save bees from year to year. Creating a large work of art isn’t as easy as it sounds. And if you are working with a big bag of last year’s bees, the work becomes performance art as neighborhood children on their way to the school bus stop wonder why a woman in her nightgown is throwing yellow Easter eggs about her lawn during the first week in June.)

The bee spree accomplished, I hopped off to work. I always like it when appropriate songs come on the radio at just the right time. Yesterday it was Our House by Madness. Kind of a silly, bouncy paean to the kind of home that is most likely become a more of a rarity. Perhaps that accounts for its popularity. Sort of a musical dream family situation. I always find that it makes me think about my real house.

That led me to think about an article that I read in the June Touchstone magazine (Paper Tiber by David Mills). A good article, with much to recommend it, the sentence that has resonnated in my mind the past few days is ...””The ‘bonus baby’ is a gift, not a burden.”

I’m thinking this morning, on what would have been my late father’s eightieth birthday, about “bonus babies.” This is the day after the birth of one of my bonus babies (which I am celebrating in the way my dad most approved, breakfasting on leftover birthday cake). What if I had not accepted my bonus? That is not such a far fetched thought, since the obstetrician I was seeing at the time assuaged my distress at the thought of a third baby in three and a half years with a kindly and cold-blooded offer of a ‘final solution.’ Either the Princess or her younger sister have gone to school with this doctor’s grandchildren. When I would see him at school choir performances and talent nights, I wondered if he was ever haunted by the spectres of the peers of the performers that he quite literally culled from the crowd.

But I digress. I’m thinking bonus babies as a gift. How many of us have bonus babies? Are bonus babies? (I’m pretty sure I am. After six years of marriage with no baby on the horizon my aging (i.e. early thirties - old by 1950’s standards) parents were pretty much resigned to a life a raising cats and spending week-ends with the MG club. And one has to wonder, how many of us are descendants of “bonus babies.” Perhaps we are all descendants to some degree of bonus babies. So let’s hear it for the bonus baby. I have (at least) one. I was one. Maybe my father was one (My mom? #7 of 7...probably) My father’s father? #3 out of 15, so who knows? Well, who knows! Just praise God that we are here.

And why do we call it “Bee” day? Nothing to do with the BONUS word at all. Bridget adopted the monicker B.C., shortened to B, early in life. No amount of cajoling by pre-school teachers (“She simply must learn her full name, Mrs. von Huben!) could discourage her and she has adopted the industrious insect as her mascot.

Our house it has a crowd
There's always something happening
And it's usually quite loud...

Deo gratias!

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