Isaac says he thinks he laughs more in November than in any other month. For those of us who don’t travel gracefully into winter, and who don’t welcome the increasing darkness and cold, this makes Isaac very nice to have around. He does winter right…flannel pjs all day, snuggled up to radiators and a warm grey dog, reading comics and drawing: he makes it look good. It’s our Isaac’s birthday, he’s eight years old! That makes today a holiday for those of us who study his teachings. I’ve joked in the past about being a follower of Isaacstentialism, but in truth you could do worse, you could do a lot worse, than follow the wise words of my little eight-year-old. You’d learn to be warm and cheerful, and spontaneous and generous with your warmth and cheerfulness. You’d say “I love you,” when you feel it, even to your cranky older brother, who will probably just shrug and walk away or tell you to fetch him a snack. You’d say “you’re fun to be with,” when you feel that, too, never realizing that you’re the most fun to be with. You’d tell jokes even if you don’t understand them and nobody else does either. You’d believe sincerely that you can’t judge dogs for being gross from time to time, because they’re different from us
and you would extend this understanding to all creatures. If you felt like drawing something (and you always would) you’d sit down and draw it, with quick complete attention, and you’d tell a story as you drew it, and when you were done you’d be happy with it. You wouldn’t hurry, ever, especially not in walking somewhere, because you’d understand that time will stretch itself out for you. You’d never be bored, you wouldn’t mind waiting, because you’d have so much going on in your head, and you’d probably tell everyone about it in perfect surprising words. You would sing constantly, whatever words happen to be in your head, to a tune as meandering as your feet. You would dance a crazy dance, and you wouldn’t stop because somebody was watching. You wouldn’t be easily disappointed in your own efforts of the efforts of others. If somebody made you a silly-looking cake, you’d love it anyway. You’d be happy with whatever gift you get. You’d want to share your gifts with your older brother. You would invent games nobody else understands and be emphatic about the rules. You would have a ridiculously infectious laugh. You would shine and glow.
Isaac asked me to make him a scorpion cake. (He’s a scorpio, don’t you know.) As you can see, I employed my usual technique of confusing them with candy. If you put enough twizzlers on a cake, nobody worries that it’s sloppy and crumbly and the color of drier lint. I used on oblong cake pan and a bunch of cupcakes, and everything stuck in the pans and I got very cranky and discouraged, but I think it all came out okay in the end. I know Isaac will be pleased with it, no matter how it looks.