My son had his pre-kindergarten screeing test yesterday and handily passed. While we think he’s a smart little guy, he’s right on the cusp of the age range for going to school in fall 2007, and we were not sure if he’d be ready or not. He may still not be ready from a maturity standpoint, but at least in the school district’s eyes he’s shown all of the prequisite skills needed for entry. In light of this, we decided to celebrate last night an took him to his favorite restaurant (the Rainforest Cafe at the Mall of Mammon) as a surprise.

He was thrilled. I personally think the food is mediocre and overpriced, and the anti-consumerist in me hates going to the temple of materialism that is the MOA, but in the eyes of one special little 4 year-old, that place is a slice of heaven. I still winced when I got the bill, but seeing the joy on my son’s face made me remember that there’s more to life than money.

After enjoying a loud, racuous meal, we got back out into the main area of the mall when the missus declared that she had “a few things that she needed to pick up while we’re out here.” So we ambled down one of the concourses towards a soap shop. We both noticed that a sizeable percentage of the mall patrons that night were Muslim… maybe forty percent or more of the people. This seemed rather odd to us, until I remembered that we were getting towards the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan. In fact last night was the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr if my dates are correct, which is a major holiday in Islam. There were many Somali families out and about that night, dressed nicely and looking to enjoy themselves. The amusement park was busy, and the sounds of laughing children filled the air. An unusual Monday night in Minnesota for many of us, but a special night for some.

While I tend to do more ranting on this blog than anything, there’s much more to life than simply wringing one’s hands about the future. What comes will come, and while it’s important to be aware of the changes that are coming in life, that’s no reason to not celebrate the joys that happen in the here and now. Yesterday was a particularly good day for people in my circle of acquaintances; we had one child pass a milestone on his path to maturity, my brother-in-law got a new job with a hefty raise that will help him support his family better, and some close friends had a healthy baby. If that day isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.


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