While the hauntingly lovely tune as sung by Etta James wafts through your mind, I bring the image of love-at-last-requited to a screeching halt with the news that today's At Last is actually Number Two Peanut's birthday.
Two has been marking thick black X's through the boxes on a calendar in the kitchen since Christmas. Christmas was exactly 60 days ago. That's 60 X's, 60 boxes, 60 times the question has been asked: How long 'till my birthday now? It started out as a vague awareness that his birthday was next in the family lineup, but in the last two weeks or so, it has gained in intensity; until, approaching this weekend, he began to think we really may as well begin celebrating now, eh?
Yesterday morning, he asked his Mama Nut if she could call him The Eight-year old from now on, to which she answered: Well, yes of course, if you really want me to. I could say "The Eight-year old, time for supper! The Eight-year old, stop hitting your brother with the sword! I love you, The Eight-year old.
He gave that some thought, and concluded that The Eight-year old sounded a bit too... something, so he kindly informed his Mama that instead, she could just call him Eight-year old.
Two has been dispensing birthday beneficence for a few days now. For example, indicating he would like his brothers to be served first, since it was going to be his birthday; and, if one or the other of his brother Peanuts got into trouble (something, I assure you, that rarely happens) he would plead their cause on behalf of the fact that he would shortly be a year older.
Yesterday he asked how many hours until his birthday, suggesting that his level of anticipation had racheted to an unbearable level, but when he got up shortly after midnight to visit the loo, we called out to him that it was finally his birthday! Happy birthday, birthday boy! To which he answered, very blase: I know. And shrugged. With one shoulder!
This morning was an altogether different story though, as the house fairly vibrated with his excitement. I said extra prayers for his teacher today, for I can only imagine how many times the words 'my birthday' will be mentioned, and how hard it will be to keep this boy - who needs to be glued to his chair at the best of times - in his seat for seven whole hours! Not to mention, a once-famous Canadian singer is at their school today, giving a small concert. No doubt for Two, it's no coincidence it happens today, and surely Mr. Frew will be singing just for him.
Don't you just love the whole-hearted enthusiasm and utter self-abandonment of the young?