Fonticulus Fides

Monday, August 04, 2003

The birthday party was a success. At least I thought so. Sticker jousting was fun, but the kids only wanted to do it once each. They were more interested in swinging the sword at the dragon pinata, which eventually was reduced to shreds of tissue paper all over the house. But not without effort. I don't know why the instructions said to use a "plastic bat" to open the thing. It was made out of cardboard! Zooey's sword hacked off the wings and the paper "fire", plus put a good slit in the tissue covering, but our oldest nephew finally had to use a hammer to make a big enough hole that I could shake the candy out on the porch floor for the kids to gather. Zooey saved the head & I've threatened to mount it like a hunting trophy. I managed to find a giant box on Saturday, cut it into something of a castle, and spray paint it red in time for the party. I have giant tubes (what they roll carpet onto) to make into turrets, but that will have to wait for next weekend. The kids enjoyed playing in that. The cake turned out fine, but the center part was a little dense. I knew my baking powder was a little past its prime, but I didn't have time to run out for more & took a chance.

Zooey got lots of great presents, including a Lord of the Rings sword that sounds like metal clanging on metal when you tap it against anything. Or jerk it in the air. Or just lay it down on the floor of the car and drive over any imperfection in the road. The batteries wore out by 6 p.m. (party was at 2 p.m.!), but luckily, I had another set and loaded it up again. My husband thanked me wryly.

Zoo also got a set of three fabulous water guns, much to his and my husband's delight. (Sort of makes up for the fresh batteries I put into the sword, doesn't it, my love?). So, the last part of the party was spent in the back yard as the kids took turns spraying each other, the house, the car, the neighbor's rose bushes, etc. and trying to shoot walnuts off the tree.

Zooey was excited and fairly gracious, managing to thank everybody for their gifts. He was happy to give all his cousins and friends capes to wear and he passed out the goody boxes with glee. I'm hoping he'll grow up more interested in giving than getting, but for now, both are fun for him.

My brother-in-law and his wife both came to the party, and while it wasn't the time for serious chatting, I couldn't help trying to look for signs of hope in them. I thought the definitely had a "We're here together" vibe and sensed no animosity between them. That gives me hope that they are still on the path of togetherness and that whatever troubles they suffer are being appropriately addressed.

I know of no marriage that hasn't gone through a time of serious trials. Blissfully happy as I am with my husband, I can think of two occasions on which one or both of us was this close to walking out the door and maybe never coming back. The issues we faced during those times were very difficult and highly charged emotionally. I clearly remember thinking, "How will we ever get through this?" both times. But even when it looks like there is no way to make it work, seems like there always is. Sometimes, you have to work like the dickens just to even see one shred of a solution.

Again, I note the helpful Retrouvaille program. If you are troubled in your marriage, please, please give it a try.



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