birthday weekend recap

1. US Patent Office | 2. Birthday Flowers | 3. The Big Day | 4. Opening Presents | 5. Coaster Heaven | 6. My guys | 7. Almost as tall as Papa | 8. Beautiful Busch Gardens | 9. My kind of ride | 10. Post-park pool | 11. Simple syrup | 12. Lemon tree | 13. Lemonade | 14. River Sunset | 15. Marsh at twilight

1. US Patent Office | 2. Birthday Flowers | 3. The Big Day | 4. Opening Presents | 5. Coaster Heaven | 6. My guys | 7. Almost as tall as Papa | 8. Beautiful Busch Gardens | 9. My kind of ride | 10. Post-park pool | 11. Simple syrup | 12. Lemon tree | 13. Lemonade | 14. River Sunset | 15. Marsh at twilight

Well, we had a great weekend. Neel spent Friday in DC, giving a talk on his research at a conference at the US Patent office. There were several university presidents there as well as this man and the governor of Virginia. Neel and his colleague (as well as everyone else) were all suited up and fancy, but of course there were some guys there presenting their work to this group of venture capitalists in shorts and rumpled shirts. I love science.

Saturday dawned bright and early (especially for me because I still had to wrap some presents!) and after Cal had his breakfast cupcake we headed out to Busch Gardens for the day. What more could a newly-minted 14 year old ask for? This kid LOVES his roller coasters, so Neel and I sat on benches like old people while he rode them over and over and over again. Aack. Amusement parks. We got lost a bagillion times. When Callum was little and we lived in San Diego, we had season passes to Sea World and Legoland, and I knew those parks like the back of my hand. BG, not so much. And still, It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too crowded, the lines weren't too long, so we managed. Perfect day.

Thud down to earth with homework on Sunday. Life marches on doesn't it? Neel and I took a long walk Sunday evening and ran into some neighbors who'd been noting, like we had, the early scurry of the squirrels and the frantic thud of the acorns. Will it be a hard winter this year? Most sings point to yes. I'll be curious to see how things turn out.

I can't sign off without saying two things. First, thank you all for your supportive and thoughtful comments on Friday's post. In some ways it was scary to press send on that entry because those women (both the original poster and then the satirical version) inspired such vitriol, but in other ways it wasn't because, hello. Common sense. Also, I wasn't scared because of you guys. You don't have to agree with me to be lovely and respectful and wonderful, and I so appreciate that. So thank you. I'll respond to each of your comments individually in just a bit. 

The other thing that caught my eye in Friday's comments was Annie's note that my labor with Cal was long. It wasn't really. Not the important, you-can-feel-what's-happening part. My water broke at 4:30 AM on the 6th, but it was subtle so we weren't sure and didn't go to the hospital until 4ish that afternoon. Cal was born at 12:34 AM on the 7th. I pushed for four hours, and I was unmedicated until the very end when he got stuck and needed help getting out. The more things change, the more they stay the same. ;) I got a little weepy the night before his birthday. I often do, but as some of you know, our relationship has been a bit rocky of late. I won't say more out of respect for Cal's privacy, but we all remember what being a teenager is like.

I love him more than anything.