On Thursday, June 21, Esmé Rose turned big-1, and on Monday, June 25, Maximilian turned big-4! Bless their souls, bless them for all the joy they bring to my life.

Esmé in traditional Korean dress.

On the train this morning, browsing through Google Reader headlines on my phone, I came across a post on ask.metafilter.com, and it riled me up so much I simply had to respond. Here is the original post:

I want to have value past my mundane existence: ... "Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion – in the long run, these are the only people who count." How do I become one of those people who count?

And here is my response:

The original quote is unbelievably arrogant, and full of conclusions that are difficult, if not impossible to support. How does the person quoted have *any* concept of how many individuals think, let alone the quality of their thinking? And then to make a sweeping value judgment: "...these are the only people that count." Unconscionable.

I'm surprised that so many people in this thread have allowed themselves to be intellectually sucker-punched into thinking that the original quote had any merit whatsoever. And I suspect that the more 'thinking' you do, the more you'll realize that 'being one of those people who count' really doesn't matter that much in this great cyclical organic existence of ours.
Yesterday, while building wooden train track #10,768 with Max on our living room rug, the little guy surprised me by counting to 33 in odd numbers: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. I didn't even know he could do that! By around 3-1/2, and in the months approaching 4, Max was able to count to 100 and beyond, to 1,000 by hundreds, do addition and subtraction in his head up to around 12, hand-write several words (including his name of course), type even more words, phonetically read many short and medium length words, and sight read a larger list of words. He can finish the candy level of We Love Katamari by himself, he's a force to be reckoned with on the tricycle, he loves to romp, loves silly dance contests, and has been known to break into an impromptu chorus of 'I've Been Working On The Railroad' at any given moment. I look at the kid and constantly think: It must be a lot of fun to be Max.

Esmé is blossoming. In the past two months as she approaches one year old, her personality has really started to come out. She loves to be pushed around the neighborhood in her little plastic car (clapping enthusiastically as she goes), and she gives Max a run for his money in silly dance contests. She is so beautiful it's distracting...big eyes, curly hair (lots of it), enormous smile (it seems to have grown in the past month). She waves at nearly everything and everybody, with her delicate little fingertip-model-wave. Loves her big brother, loves to chase him and be chased by him; she crawls so quickly she looks like a little beetle scurrying. She's so sweet we call her Zen baby--she's not the intense micro-manager Max that is. She's sweet, that is, until you take away that toy she was playing with...