This morning I have received an aggressive kiss on the nose to wake me up, followed immediately by the boy chirping, “Hi Mama, it’s your birthday! Here, take this.” I mumbled a thank you and peered at the folded piece of paper he’d given me, with crayon all over it. “It’s a card for you!” he explained enthusiastically. “See, these are butterflies!” Then there were toys brought in and played with on the bed, as well as many snuggles. Then he hauled HRH’s guitar out and played and sang me a birthday song extempore, on the spot.
We returned the 7/8 cello Number 3 to the luthier this morning. “And?” he said. “Almost,” I said. “Almost, but not quite.” I explained that the two-week home trial had confirmed that the 7/8 size is indeed perfect for me, but that this particular instrument just didn’t have that certain something that clicked and made it mine. He asked if there was anything particular, in order to avoid it when selecting another for me to test, and I shook my head; there wasn’t anything specifically wrong. It just didn’t grab me and say, ‘You cannot part with me.’ I like the tone, the overtones, the balance, the construction, the feel under my fingers, everything; it’s just not this one that I need. He has another 7/8 in his Laval workshop and will bring it in for me, but I’m on holiday the last two weeks of July and he’s closed the first two weeks of August, so we’ll pick up again then. In the meantime there’s the two shops in Toronto, and the Scarlatti 7/8 Number 2 to take home for a test, and I’ll think about the one in Alaska too.
On the way to the luthier we treated ourselves to breakfast sandwiches and iced cappuccinos, and the we went through the car wash for the first time with the boy, who found it very exciting. Unfortunately we ran into not one but two road detours in St Lambert and Longueuil due to festivals or triathalons which rerouted us way out of the areas we needed to travel in or through, so the trip was about twice as long as it needed to be.
My birthday present from HRH was a new bike! It has been many, many years since I have owned one. As he carted it to the back yard yesterday the next-door neighbour said, “You got a n new bike?” HRH said, “It’s not mine, it’s hers.” “But it’s a man’s bike,” the neighbour replied, confused. Yes, it is a man’s bike, but I preferred the shiny red and white paint with a back rack to the blue and white with a plastic basket in the front, complete with fake flower, and with flowers painted on the seat. The blue was nice, but give me a rack over a flimsy plastic basket any day. Also, a red bike is just cooler. The next purchase is a bike trailer for kids so the boy and I can bike to the library and the grocery store, or just go for a ride together. My parents gave me a lovely blank book and a copy of Martha Stewart’s cookie recipe book. I got birthday money last weekend from my in-laws, which went to new summer shirts and a skirt (and a new bike helmet and lock!). There was a cheque in yesterday’s mail from my grandmother, which will buy a new printer. I have received numerous birthday wishes from all over via e-mail, phone, and journal posts, the weather is spectacular, and I am having a wonderful birthday so far. There’s a late afternoon picnic in my future today, and I have been promised sushi tonight after the boy goes to bed. Tomorrow there’s a birthday dinner with the in-laws, too. Life is good.