No, my math isn’t quite that dodgy (although there are days…) October 2nd is our son’s birthday, and so the child formerly known as Six will now make his debut as Seven.
A reader asked a while ago why I refer to the children here by their ages; it’s mostly for their privacy, but I also believe there are some universal things about being eleven, or nine, or (now) seven, no matter what we call them or what they look like.
Seven wasn’t actually due until much later in October, around the third week I think, but we’d been telling the girls (Eleven and Nine were 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 at that point) that the baby would be born in October. It’s one of Nine’s family stories, how she announced, as we turned the calendar page to October 1999, that the baby was coming now, and I said well, not exactly today, but before Halloween, and it's a good thing, too, because there's still plenty of things to do, like put the crib back up and get some little diapers. Go ahead and guess the punch line: he arrived in the middle of that night, and has continued to sneak up on us ever since.
Remember the “I can only hope he'll still be six when I finish this thing” Cederic Diggory Memorial Scarf? Did I make the deadline? Um, no, and yes. It was cold here Saturday morning, more like early November than late September, foggy and damp, and Nine’s soccer team had the first game of the day on a field that’s notoriously chilly at the best of times. So while Nine’s busy with her 8:30 warm up (hah!), Eleven, Six (still) and I are hanging around the sidelines, dressed not quite warmly enough. (Although I’m pleased to announce that last week’s sideline project, the socks, were on my feet and doing an excellent job. Hooray for wool!) I’d brought along the CDMS (stockinette in the round, a perfect project for needing not that much attention). Six keeps saying he’s cold, I keep sending him off for another lap around the field; he keeps asking if the scarf is finished. It’s not, of course; he tries it on anyway and it’s far too short for a scarf. “We could turn it into a hat,” I offer. “Really?” he asks. “You bet,” I answer. Salvation! I break the working yarn strand by strand with my car key (Excuse me, who swiped the scissors from the knitting bag?), thread it through the stitches like a drawstring and pull it tight, roll up the bottom a bit, and pop it on his head.
This is a seriously ugly hat: wrong proportions, weird finish, way too much of a cuff at the bottom. But it’s warm (How do I know? Six stopped complaining about being cold at the game) and he likes it enough to have kept it on his head most of the weekend. I suppose I’ll clean it up eventually – there’s probably two hats worth of stitches there – and at some point will start a more compact version of a Hufflepuff scarf. But for now, rest in peace, Cederic Diggory Memorial Scarf; welcome Hufflepuff hat. And Happy Birthday, Seven!