Happy Birthday, Cricket

Cricket’s birthday is this weekend; he received a gift and a card from us on Wednesday (I sent a Ninja Turtle that he begged Nora to buy him during his visit here), and I will be continuing my batty ritual of jumping into the pool on the day itself. Some people make cakes or release balloons; I get very cold and wet.

We last Skyped a few weeks ago—Nora is faithfully keeping our appointments every six weeks—and Cricket was completely not into it. He ended up just wandering away after frowning and choosing not to talk. Nora stayed on the call, chatting with me and with Kit. She told me that they had just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe together, and I asked whether I might send a book: Over Sea, under Stone, which has all of the adventure without C.S Lewis’s misogyny. Nora and I exchanged a couple of Facebook messages over the next few days, and she said that she wishes that Cricket was more interested right now—that he likes the idea of having brothers, but isn’t into the reality of it so much. But when the book arrived, he was excited, and he asked Nora to start reading it to him right away.

My favorite thing about this last Skype call is that it felt like the first time that Nora wasn’t trying to hide big parts of her everyday life; I have known about her girlfriend (from Ruth) for over a year, but this was the first time that Lily was visible; too, usually Nora will say (e.g.) “We might go to the beach this afternoon,” but this time, it was “Cricket and Lily and I might go to the beach this afternoon.” Nora also just bought a house, and I admired it, and she promptly sent me her new address.  It felt comfortable to talk to her, and she reassured me that all kids have a hard time starting preschool, and that it would be okay. (Turns out, the joke’s on us: Joey has had a fabulous time at school from Day One, and hasn’t seemed to miss me at all. I guess he was ready!) I feel like we’re at a good place right now, just as Cricket is less interested in the adoption than he has been since he was a baby. But as I told to Nora, the silver lining for me is that I can see that he’s comfortable expressing that disinterest—I’d like to think that he will always feel comfortable sharing what he’s feeling, even when it’s not what I wish he was feeling.

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Cricket

  1. Oh my gosh, Susan Cooper! That series is one of my favorites and neither of my kids are interested in it. I’m so bitter. I had a crush on Will Stanton when I was little and first read The Dark is Rising. Did you know that she married Hume Cronyn after Jessica Tandy died? My mind was blown when I read that. WORLDS COLLIDING!

    I will be thinking of you this weekend as you are jumping into the pool. May it be only wet and not too cold.

  2. That’s awesome that Nora has been good about skyping with you guys on a regular basis. Cricket may be more into it some weeks than others. I’ll be thinking of you guys this weekend!

  3. I love that there is more openness in the connection with Nora, and that Cricket has room to express his disinterest, as you say. That Nora is keeping the Skype dates and is being more forthcoming about her everyday life feels really hopeful to me. Thinking of you all, even though I am behind on reading.

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