My daughter was born close to but not on the same date as Beth’s birthday.
Beth and my sister, Meredith, have been friends since the first grade, and Beth has also become my friend, too.
Of course, the fact that Julia was NOT born on Beth’s birthday had caused a bit of friction between us, but I think Julia’s antics over the years have softened that somewhat.
That, and the fact that in personality, Julia is very much a mini-Beth.
Not 100% though – there is that whole eyeball eating thing….
Anyway, in honor of Beth, here are a few Julia anecdotes.
Last week, when we had Bill’s guitar students over after their juries, and we served them lots of food, part of the spread included cheese, and one of the cheeses was brie.
Julia loves brie. She doesn’t always remember the name, but when she refers to "The Squishy Cheese," brie is what she means.
Well, we had some brie left over. As well as the three other cheeses served that night.
Alex doesn’t like brie. He likes cheddar. So one afternoon Alex was hungry and wanted some cheese and crackers. Cheddar and crackers. I cut up some slices of cheddar and put them on crackers, and he was happy.
Julia wanted cheese and crackers, too, but not cheddar. She wanted the squishy cheese. So I got that out, sliced some up, put it on some crackers, and gave it to her. And she was happy.
I went upstairs to put laundry away or something…and a bit later, I heard some sort of scraping noise coming from below. I went downstairs, because, having known my daughter for a while now, I had a feeling I knew what she was doing.
And sure enough, when I got downstairs and rounded the corner on the way to the kitchen, there she was: standing on a chair in the middle of the kitchen, surveying the counters. She was looking for the brie. The scraping sound I’d heard was Julia bringing that chair from the dining room to the kitchen.
Unfortunately for her, I’d put the cheeses back in the fridge. But she probably would have figured that out, given enough time.
(And yes, in case you were wondering, we DO live on brie. It goes so well with the caviar and champagne.)
Anyway, this may have been the same wedge of brie…we only had a little of it left, and I’d put it out on the counter one evening, before dinner, for us to pick at while the meal was cooking.
At some point, Julia and Alex had gone downstairs, Bill was in the music/computer room practicing, and I had gone in to look up something on the computer. I had a great view of the hall, and the doorway to the basement, and part of the kitchen.
Julia came upstairs and wanted another piece of brie, so I cut her a little bit and off she went.
That sentence I just wrote? Repeat it.
Then she decided she didn’t need me, so she managed, probably on tippy-toes, to cut herself a little more cheese. Fine. I’m all for self-sufficiency.
And she did that once or twice more.
And then I saw her edging from the kitchen toward the stairs…hands behind her back, smiley "nothing to see here" face shining at me.
"Julia, did you take the rest of the cheese?"
Still smiling, she nodded…and held out her left hand, which was clutching the last hunk of brie.
Last week, before the dinner for Bill’s students, (well, his and the other guitar teacher’s students, really), Bill had been fighting off a case of bronchitis. He stayed home from work a couple of days, and his only comfort came from watching the original three Star Wars movies. Julia would join him sometimes, but Alex didn’t like the movies at all. He is my Ferdinand the Bull, preferring peace and beauty to light sabres and blasters.
Anyway, Julia loved the movies. I don’t know if it was because she got to hang out with Daddy all by herself and that made it special, or if it’s just her nature. I think a bit of both.
She’s seen bits and pieces of the movies a few times now, especially Empire Strikes Back. I think that’s her favorite. (She’s also her mother’s daughter.)
Got all that background stuff? Good.
Alex, who doesn’t, asked "Which is your favorite part?"
And Julia didn’t even have to think. "When the tauntaun dies." She ate some more spaghetti.
Alex asked "What’s a tauntaun?"
Jayne, Bill, Alex…