August Baby Nancy and I traveled to the US, to my father’s memorial in Vermont
. She was feted and fussed over by every relative. Caught firefly fairies in a jar (and when they faded, blew on them until they reignited); rode a bike, swam at the local pool; and overwhelmed by the food choices, ate many hotdogs for breakfast. We found a fairy dress at K Mart straight away and she wore it through the streets of Burlington, with wings, wand and tiara, until she was forced to ask, Blong wanem oli lukluk strong long mi? Why are they staring? There was a terrible moment on another shopping trip when she found the pink princess shoes we’d bought were much too small, made for a 5 year old American it appears, and not a 7 year old Papua New Guinean. She fell into a funk, snarling that she wasn’t a princess after all because the shoe didn’t fit, and only cheered up when we went to see UP, the movie, on what she called the biggest TV screen ever.
We took a rental car and some Harry Potter audio CDs and drove from Vermont to Massachusetts to see Deborah and Fred, who live in the beautiful woods of Amherst, in a house with spectacular views in back. Then we went to see Susan and Zach, and Brad, Susan, Iris, Jack and Peter, all in a house in Southampton, where we inflated the dolphin and swam some more, and visited Zach at the Watermill Center, where Robert [Einstein n the Beach]Wilson spotted Nancy in full fairy regalia and expressed interest in working with her in the future, of all things. I signed up as her agent. Jack and Peter, the most celebrated performers of all of us, with the most colorful hair I should add, were gracious about being upstaged by this niece-cum-ingénue with but a halting command of English and cheap flashy wardrobe. Their doppelganger.
Last stop was to see Beth, in Connecticut, where we sat by a country club pool and Nancy joined a group of teenage boys doing flips from the diving board all afternoon. Then she styled Beth’s mother’s hair and charmed Matt, beth’s brother, into taking us out on the speedboat. And finally we arrived in San Francisco to see the preternaturally youthful and fit Jeannie and Jim, for a final workout that almost exhausted and Nancy and nearly killed me. We climbed a mountain with our hearts hammering and feeling faint, drank lemonade at the top, and came down in single file behind Baby Nancy, who sang Oliver and Mary Poppins songs at the top of her lungs. Suoercalafragilisticexpialadocious. If you say it loud enough it just might sound precocious. Where ere ere ere ere is love? Is it in the stars above?
Id forgotten that being in a house with 5 kids is a lot different than having a concentrated month with one. I fee like Ive been twittered every 30 seconds since mid July.