Eleanor Grace's Fourth Birthday


Nora (who will hereafter be referred to in my Kitchener Post column as “Daughter the Younger” with Vivian as “Daughter the Elder”, after a number of people corrected me saying that I couldn’t use “youngest” and “eldest” without the presence of a middle child. As no middle children are expected…) celebrated her fourth birthday this past Friday, with a grand occasion at her preschool, and a big celebration with grandparents Rosemarie, Pat and Eric that evening. We had a further echo of the celebration this Saturday afternoon, after inviting some of Nora’s neighbourhood friends over for a playdate.

As Nora reaches this landmark birthday — one of the first that I suspect she’ll remember into her adult years (I remember my third birthday) — I can’t help compare her to Vivian. I know you shouldn’t do that to your children, but it fascinates me how similar the two can be, and how different. When Vivian was four, she was gregarious enough to have a birthday party where friends from her preschool were invited to attend. That didn’t quite happen for Nora. While she loves to play and gets along with everybody, she hasn’t developed the same fast friendships that Vivian did at her age. And she doesn’t seem to be bothered by that at all.

Daughter the Younger is growing into herself. Early on, she knew just how to press her older sister’s buttons, and the two still fight like cats, but more and more I hear my children starting to have conversations with each other. Vivian has always been a negotiator (and could possibly solve the Middle East situation through sheer force of will), but Nora is indomitable and now she can say so.

They fight, which is something that flummoxes my father, frustrates Erin, and has more than a few people on Erin’s side of the family rolling their eyes and going “I told you so”, but the bond between them is also clear. They’re going to make a formidable team. When they’re not at each other’s throats, of course.

In other news, my latest column in The Kitchener Post is now online. It was written earlier this week after I encountered one construction diversion too many. And, yes, I really did shout at the air.

And I would like to report that I’m getting back on the horse with Icarus Down, after a rather encouraging ‘let-him-down-easy’ rejection by my most recent agent candidate. This time, I’ve sent out queries to three agents, and two further full-submissions (when Erin reported on Twitter that I’d been rejected and asked for agent suggestions, these two asked to see the whole manuscript).

None of these agencies require an exclusive look at manuscripts, and I’m finding that less agents are doing so, these days, which I greatly appreciate. After having Icarus Down in limbo for six months while I waited for a yea or a nay, I’ve resolved to myself: NO MORE EXCLUSIVE SUBMISSIONS. By hook or by crook, my book will be published.

I’ll keep you posted when there’s news.

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