Visit To Saint John’s



We went to Homecoming at St. Johns today. It was my 25th Anniversary. I saw some old friends and favorite teachers, which was delightful. John and I got to sit in the bookstore and sign books. As an added bonus, we got to sit next to Mr. Beall, who was always one of my utmost favorite Tutors. He has written a book of poetry, which I bough. 

Last year, when we did this, we had a babysitter. I remember thinking: “Next year, we won’t need one. We’ll have a 14 year old daughter.” Well…this year we did have a 14 year old daughter, and not only did she not watch the boys, she was just as adamant about showing up an hovering around us instead of going out to play as the rest of them. In their defense, it was horribly hot outside. 

Having the kids along caused all kinds of ruckus (not that I’d rather not have brought them for an instant.) but it did lead t one utterly adorable moment as Juss announced that his mother’s book (which he has not read) was a great book. When we objected that the books around us—in the St. John’s bookstore, Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, etc.,—were great books, he insisted more and more loudly that his mom’s book was great and would be a bestseller! 

I was a bit embarrassed…but his loyalty really warmed my heart. He was delighted when I showed him that the second book was dedicated to him and his siblings. 

The neatest and strangest moment of the day was walking across campus to go home, when a voice cried out “Ping-Ping! Ping-Ping!” I thought…that can’t be. Who could do such a thing. Moments like this should be remembered by writers, because the sudden appearance of magic in real life could not be more disorientating than having some unknown voice call out to one’s daughter whose only been here in the country for less than a year. Surely, it was a mistake. I was hearing things. 

It was not a mistake. A lovely young woman with extremely light colored hair ran up and hugged my daughter. It was one of her counselors from the camp she and Orville went to this summer. We were so surprised and delighted. Ping-Ping looked very pleased. 

Finally, on the way home, Juss talked John into running a roleplaying game based on his novels. So we were all playing children escaping from a boarding school in Cornwall. The school was attacked by dementors. We escaped onto the Polar Express, where, when the dementors boarded the train looking for us, we found out that Zeus was dead and they thought Orville’s character was the Lightning Thief. I was thoroughly amused with how quickly John had blended in all these children’s books. 

Then we came home and watched the new Tinkerbell movie. (Ping-Ping had a Tinkerbell theme in her room…stuff we got before we knew she’d be a teenager, but she doesn’t seem to mind, so we’ve run with it. ;-)

A good day was had by all.