Sunday, May 30, 2010

A 4-year-old's birthday

Vinnie and a firetruck Yesterday, I spent more time at Toys R Us than I ever have, or ever expected to, trying to find the perfect presents for my nephew who is turning 4 on Wednesday. I can remember my own 4th birthday, believe it or not. I remember being in the kitchen, tugging on my mom's apron and asking if I was 4. Adorable, right? I think she yelled at me.

This trace of a memory leads me to believe that Henry, the birthday boy, may actually remember this birthday for years to come. Unfortunately I can't be there in person, because I'll be at my second day of work at The AP. But I can at least send along a present. I got several Toy Story-themed items that I know he'll like because he's obsessed with Buzz Lightyear ... a Memory game, a book and a jigsaw puzzle. But I wanted the kind of gift that had a "wow" factor, a large, shiny thing that would make a 4-year-old go apeshit. When I saw this giant remote-controlled firetruck, I knew that was it. It's just the kind of thing a 4-year-old might remember opening, even 25 years later.

One of my favorite phrases used to be "all up in my circumference." I can't remember where I first heard it -- one of those court television shows or something. I just thought it was a very funny way to describe someone who was being intrusive, nosy or aggressive. Anyway, my parents, who live in Florida, are in fact all up in my circumference in the geographic sense. They are in Massachusetts (which I still can't spell without looking up) for my mom's 45th year reunion from college. If you do the math, that makes her 114. They are swinging down to New Haven just for a couple hours to have lunch and see my apartment; I may take them on a little tour of SOM, although you know how elderly people can be about walking. Then they are taking off to see my brother, sister-in-law and nephews about two hours away. Thus, they are my birthday present delivery system.

I would like to join everyone for a pool-tastic, grill-acious Memorial Day weekend, of course, but as soon as my parents leave I am packing, packing, packing. I'll either leave for Queens tonight or, more likely, tomorrow, just because I don't know if driving in unfamiliar neighborhoods in Queens at night is exactly the ticket to safety.

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