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July 10, 2004
I arrange some mint, some marjoram in bloom, a couple of different trailing vines and the pale purple flowers of the hosta plants through the holes in a grid of clear tape with which Anna has covered the opening of the six fishbowls she bought -- I think this looks lovely, but I may be mistaken: it may just look like a bowl of weeds. One easily loses perspective in flower arranging, I find. I'll ask Anna when she comes: there is still time to run to the store and buy some supermarket flowers. I miss the city, where you have a flower stand on every other corner. She needs six for the center of six tables. Ideally, all alike, or else all utterly different -- you have to be definite about these things

I am impressed at the ease with which she has planned this party for her sister -- so relaxed and sure about food and wine, so early with her invitations, so tactful but firm about the way things will be.

I remember their other parties, when they were little girls -- the birthday cakes, the misnamed sleepovers, the costumes, the games. I made a game last night: they used to love what they called Mad Libs, fill-in-the-blank stories to which guests supply randomly chosen parts of speech, strung together at the end to make the story absurd. I remember playing this at a party when I was girl, remember my friends mother reading our cobbled story after we'd all listed our words, laughing and laughing when she described two of our number riding their "crispy bicycles" around town. That was a long time ago. That game's got legs.

I made another one, one I remember my mother making when she gave a bridal shower: have the guests make words out of the two names. We'll see how they do. "English teacher games," Corinna says when I tell her about them. True enough. I stay up until eleven o'clock making games. I am never up that late.

You do not know what they will be like when they grow up. Childhood goes from day to day, and it is so absorbing that you don't stretch your daydreams very far into the future. You can't imagine them adults until they are. Suddenly their lives are in their own hands, and you stand amazed at who they have become.

Even if there were no happy wedding in the offing, this alone would be reason for a party.
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