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Kickin' Republican Posterior, Kissing Liam

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The radio is blaring election results. We are almost completely happy about what's happened. One of my favorite NPR moments was when Bill and I were sitting, despondent, in the kitchen, after the last presidential election. The results were announced, and the interim music immediately following was an instrumental version of "It's the End of the World as We Know It." It was subtle, it was quick, but it was there, and it was funny as hell. Now the interim music between reports is dizzy Dixieland jazz. Celebratory and giddy. Yep. I get it.

If only Washington County voters had seen fit to pass the school levy that will keep Phoebe and Liam's little elementary, in danger of being closed, going. Missed it by 30 votes. Now, we're told, the school probably won't close, at least not immediately, but there will be no music, art, or gym. Who needs music, art or gym? Nonessential. There are already no field trips. This will be the 25th year the school has survived without a levy's being passed. A slim majority of voters here just don't see the need. Hey, their kids are out of school, and they don't want to pay a household average of $70 a year to keep the smaller elementary schools going. Who cares? Their kids are all grown. That's the dark side of country livin' in an economically depressed area, friends.

I didn't have the heart to tell Phoebe this morning. She'll know the moment she walks in the door of Salem-Liberty Elementary.

It's another gray, weepy day here, but Democrats have all but swept the offices up for grabs in Ohio, and that's cause for some kind of celebration.

Speaking of celebration, Liam turned seven at 7:24 AM. That was the moment the obstetrician took him and spun him three times, quickly, to get the umbilical cord unwrapped from his neck. I remember watching, not enough time even to pray. Thank God for the doctor's quick hands, and the good blood that began coursing through this precious little boy's veins.In this picture, he looks so much like my dad, pigeon chest puffed out.
He draws in every spare moment. His school papers are full of drawings. There is seige and attack, fear and victory, disaster always awaiting the unwary.

Liam is affectionate. Except for a brief germophobic phase at age 5, he's always been an eager kisser. And he no longer wipes my kisses off, something that gives me great, if inexplicable, joy. Baker gladly submits to Liam's hugs and kisses many times each day.

Thank you for being my sweet Liam, William Henry Thompson IV, Engineer of Many Trains, Artist of Note, King of the Imponderable, the Unanswerable Question, and the Hysterical Non-Sequitur. Happy birthday, precious one. We'll get you music, art, and exercise here at home.


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