Tempus Fugitive

March 22nd, 2005

I remember once when I was in college sitting in a buddy’s apartment watching the fish in their aquarium and thinking about all the work I wasn’t doing at that moment and when that work was due.

“Man,” I thought to myself, “It’s Monday already. The week is almost over!”

On the face of it you probably chuckle, but I’m sure many can identify with such a sentiment. People are busy these days. Their lives are filled with a lot of stuff. Yet, on the other hand it seems so much of life today is the same old routine. Perhaps this is a feeling peculiar to me, but sometimes my life just feels… circumscribed.

I go the same places, I do the same things, I see the same people. Don’t get me wrong– I like my life and the people, places, and things in it but sometimes I get the feeling that there is a whole planet out there and I am only ever going to experience a very small and monotonous slice of it firsthand.

But I don’t really want to yammer about all that right now because it’s the Tuesday after the weekend when I said to myself “Wow, a week has passed by and you not only didn’t write anything about this weekend, but you didn’t even manage to write about last weekend.

Saturday of the weekend before last was kind of a big day. Not only did Isaiah have a birthday party to go to that morning, but we had a play to go to that evening.

The party was for his best girlfriend’s little sister. Isaiah doesn’t refer to E as his girlfriend, but they are very good friends. It’s kind of funny to watch them sometimes at church. It seems like they’re twelve or thirteen instead of five. After an evening potluck a few weeks ago E asked if Isaiah could go walk with her. I said it was fine when he was done eating so she came back a few minutes later and asked again.

“I suppose it’s OK. But you know how to behave in the church building, Son,” I told him “I don’t want to come out there and find you running crazy with the all those kids who don’t know how to act.”

“We won’t be, Dad. See you later.”

Ruth and I sat and chatted a bit and finished eating and I went to look for Isaiah. He and E were walking sedately down the hall holding hands and talking.

“Oh, hi, Dad. We were just walking around the halls. I told some of the kids to get out of a room they weren’t supposed to be in, but they didn’t listen to me.”

We had a good time at the party. It was pretty small since E’s house doesn’t hold a lot of people. It was basically our family, the family of D, Isaiah’s best buddy from church, and E’s family and relatives. As mentioned above, the party was for E’s sister J who turned two years old.

Gideon had fun playing with the older kids. He lit out for J’s room the minute we put him down after coming in the door. He’d play in there a while with the other kids and then walk out to see what we were up to and then go back to where the kids were playing.

I must say they all did really well. We were there for at least a couple of hours and I don’t remember a single unfortunate incident. Soon, though, it was time for us to head out. We needed to get the boys home to get some rest before the play.

The play was ‘Ferdinand the Bull’. Isaiah had seen it before because the troupe had performed it at his school a couple of weeks before, but that just meant he knew where the funny parts were so he was ready to laugh extra loud.

Of course, we can’t go to a play without going to Panterra’s Pizza afterward for some of the best pizza around and a few games of Arctic Thunder. They used to have Hydro Thunder which I prefer, but we can only play the games they have.

There was another notable event in the past week. Isaiah and I built a leprechaun trap for St.Patrick’s day. This was not my idea– it was a class project, but we had a good time with it. I’d had him draw a picture of what he thought would be a good leprechaun trap. He’d drawn what looked like some kind of scaffolding arrangement and he told me that part of it was “the ladder” so I got a picture in my mind of a tower.

The next night, Wednesday, we had to build the thing if he was going to have one. Unfortunately, we didn’t even get home from church till eight thirty, but we’d had supper before we’d left so we could get right to work on the trap.

My building materials of choice were cardboard and hot glue. I wanted Isaiah to be involved and actually help with building the thing, but my plan was kind of complex and I didn’t know what he actually had the manual dexterity and precision motor skills to do. I quickly figured that if nothing else, he could apply pressure to freshly bonded joints while they cooled and he turned out to be a fine finger-holder-there-er.

We both (especially him) ended up staying up far later than I’d intended. We didn’t finish until about eleven-thirty! I was pleased with our results, though. We not only had constructed a tower, rather impressive in it’s own right, but we had fabricated a working gravity powered leprechaun trap.

A Styrofoam cup was suspended by string wound around a drinking straw axle. There was a trigger bar glued to one end of the straw whose motion was either locked or released by a latch mechanism that was actuated by another piece of string which was in turn glued to a couple of coins we thought seemed likely leprechaun bait. They were actually gold dubloons left over from the treasure chest cake and decorations from his pirate birthday party last year.

After several trial runs and fine-tunings, our leprechaun trap was working perfectly and reliably and my construction must have been at least adequate because it not only withstood transportation to school, repeated operations by Isaiah (unsupervised by me), and transportation back home. In fact, it still works now.

Maybe I’m in the wrong business. If any kindly readers know anyone plagued by leprechauns, please give them my name.

On the other hand, he never did catch one so I don’t know if it really works or not.

Last Saturday went by mostly in a blur. We spent most of the day cleaning up the house. We still have a long way to go before it’s ready, but the process of getting the place presentable for Isaiah’s sixth birthday party this weekend.

That evening Ruth and I dropped the boys off at Nanie and Dimmie’s (that’s what Isaiah calls her folks– since he was much smaller and couldn’t pronounce Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Denby. Why he chose her first name and his last is still a mystery) and had a pretty good mexican dinner by ourselves. Then we went to see the movie Robots.

I wanted to check it out to see if it was something I’d feel comfortable letting Isaiah watch since I knew as crazy as he is about robots, he would have a blast. It turns out it’s a pretty good movie. It is a kid’s movie, there’s no doubt about that, but there’s also nothing wrong with that. It’s a shame there aren’t more kid’s movies these days that aren’t just stupid or lousy.

I’m pretty picky about what I let Isaiah watch. I also try to mold his tastes. Perhaps I’m a wicked brain-washer, but I figure if I expose him to good stuff when he’s young and tell him what I think is good, then he can be free to decide to like junk too when he’s old enough to make that decision for himself.

Case in point– he’s never seen Shreck (neither have I, and I have no plans of that changing anytime soon) but he has rolled in the floor laughing like crazy at Francis the Talking Mule.

OK, maybe that isn’t the best example, but Isaiah does have a true appreciation for old movies. He likes black and white ones, especially Abott and Costello.

Well, anyway, the movie passed and we are going to take him to see it tomorrow night. I am sure he’ll love it and I’m confident he’ll have a good sixth birthday tomorrow.

Er, actually later today. Once again time has slipped from my grasp and I am completing this discourse at an hour far later than I’d intended- but it is complete now so at least that’s one monkey off my back.