Happy Birthday

by jkatejohnston

27 July 2015

Dear Max,

Almost my birthday, and I can’t think of any birthday resolutions other than the usual fat-related ones. All right:

Subscribe to Fine Cooking again and cook one recipe out of every issue. Follow the recipe. More or less.

Start doing Pilates again. Turns out it was making a difference, however imperceptible at the time. In short, things could have been worse, and now they are.

Read. You used to do that. Remember? That is, read more than scraps here and there. Read for hours. (The only way to do this would be to go on a writing diet so that I could read during my lunch break and before work. At night I’m too tired. Plus I have to watch TV.)

Stop looking backward. (See resolutions above.) Try something new. Teach yourself to play the ukulele. Learn songs by heart and sing them all the way through.

Have some cake.

I just checked last year’s diary to see if I could recycle last year’s resolutions, and it seems that I didn’t make any. No wonder things have been going rapidly down hill.

Enzo Notes

“My name shall be sown in the holes of failure.” (After missing a times tables problem.)


“Wow, there must be some persistent kids out there.” (On learning that a fancy Jurassic World Lego set is sold out on Amazon, Target, Toys R Us, and the Lego store.)


“The world’s first reverse meteor.” (I think this was about aiming farts into outer space.)


“Mom look!” (While peeing, brushing his teeth and combing his hair all at the same time.)


Enzo: “Our car looks made out of spare parts. Why do we always have old things? Old car. Old house. Old stove…”

Teresa: “Old moms…”

29 July 2015

Dear Max,

My birthday—I’m forty-seven—and I haven’t a thing to say for myself. Maybe, for posterity, I should describe Our Lives. What brought it to mind was that yesterday at work someone asked me what activities my son is doing this summer, and I said, “Loafing.” It reminded me that most kids are enrolled in stuff all summer: enrichments, sports, camps. Enzo is enrolled in a couple of camps that Teresa can drop him of at, but he only goes a few hours a week. If that. Mostly he just hangs out with Teresa. He rarely even wants to see friends, now that we have the dogs. They go to the river, the park, the movies, the pool, Thrift Town, the library. She reads to him. He looks at books and magazines. (He can read a little now, so he may also read them. We’re not sure.) He plays with dinosaurs or Legos or goes in the back yard and throws his big trimmed up sticks like javelins. He plays on his rings: a running start and then he grabs one of the rings with both hands and swings recond-breakingly high. And he plays with the dogs, which mostly means getting Petey to sit on him.

Petey is hilarious even when he’s doing nothing, which is most of the time. He’ll sleep on the couch with his head on the arm and his jowls kind of spread out under his face.

Since it’s my birthday, I’m wanting to say something important, maybe about birth, death, time. But I don’t know how.