Monday, January 18, 2010

Nine is divine

Our family holiday season, which starts around American Thanksgiving back in November, has just come to a close with Tori’s birthday in mid-January. It is a long holiday season but a good one. As we catch our breath and take a look around, we are surprised to find a nine year old in the house! These days Tori is typically in great spirits, full of energy and daring, busy with her sports, her musical instruments and her books. And so while we might need some time to get used to the number, nine is indeed divine.

We celebrated Tori’s birthday with a bug themed party this year. We had lots of fun collecting buggy items over the past few months. Our most exotic find was chocolate covered insects. Needless to say the only little girl eating the chocolate covered insects was our own. We also decorated bug collection containers and went out on to the “patio garden” of our apartment complex to search for insects. Typically, the kids find very large insects out in the garden, such as snails as long as a hand and a praying mantis that can actually rear back its head and bite. To keep things more light and easy, we hid hundreds of plastic bugs in the bushes and let the girls collect these.

Real bugs did make it to the party though not as a game but as a gift. Recently, we realized that insects are commonly kept as pets in Hong Kong due to the space limitations of apartment living. As Phil was walking around Mong Kok, the part of town with pet stores, he stumbled across all sorts of insects shops. While I was rather hoping for something like a cricket in an ornate little cage, he came back with a pair of stag beetles, a boy beetle Tori named Rudolph and a girl beetle she has named Poke-ah. Since they are a new addition to the household- and I am giving them a wide berth- I can’t say much about them yet. I suppose I am glad stag beetles are sold as pets rather than food here in Hong Kong but who knows if we even got that translated story right.

Whatever there is to know about beetles, Tori can tell us and usually does. When I ask her how she knows some obscure fact, she usually says “background knowledge.” The other day Phil and I were trying to remember a street name in Ukraine. Adam was there listening to the conversation and piped in with the suggestion that we ask Tori. Adam and Royce really cannot imagine a subject area beyond Tori’s grasp, regardless of if she has never been to Ukraine and we lived there well before she was born. I started to laugh but didn’t. I have not yet asked Tori the street name but probably should.


Blogger alberta1 said...

Nine indeed. Hold on fast it just starts going by faster. Like Uncle Matt said, she is 1/2 way to college. Sounds like a buggy but fun birthday. A snail the size of your hand, hard to believe.

9:11 AM  

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