Sunday, August 5, 2012
It also happened that La Casita had been rented for an event. Staff arrived and unlocked. A truck load of tables and chairs arrived. It was suggested that we should probably vacate the parking lot and go down below in the Arroyo to paint. I complied, not because I'm an agreeable person, but I hadn't started painting and I had seen some promising views below.
I thought the event would be a wedding. I know people who were married here. Then I heard it was a first birthday party. Seriously? I thought, renting a hall and round tables for a first birthday party? It seems to me that people indulge in some pretty ridiculous excesses these days, especially for small children who have simple tastes and short attention spans. But after I returned home, I spoke to somebody who is more culturally aware than I. I learned that first birthdays are huge in many Asian cultures. An important part of the celebration is when several items are set out before the child, things which may include rice cakes, a spool of thread, a brush, a crayon, a pencil, a book, money, a ruler, a golf club, and a bow and arrow. The child picks things up, showing more interest in some than others. The child's choices enable proud and optimistic parents to predict the child's future. Since I only just learned about this, I missed the chance to try it myself, and I missed the chance to try it with my children. What would we have picked? Knowing what I know now, I would pick the crayon. Or the tree.