Thank you for the happy response to last year’s letter. It was so positive that we decided to do it again. Prepare yourselves for the sequel…
The Top Ten Things We Learned in 2000
10. It is possible to lose a child on an airplane. From between Daddy’s knees. In the middle seat. With the aisle blocked. It was David’s turn to watch Hailey so Marjie relaxed. Then she heard, “Woops!” Why was David’s head between his knees? What was he reaching for? Where was Hailey? We couldn’t pull her out by her feet. Marjie had to ask the man behind us to pull her toward him. You can imagine how Hailey’s howls filled the cabin when that episode was over. You can also imagine the look that Marjie gave David for losing our daughter in a mere two cubic feet of space.
9. Marjie has turned into the mother that she swore she wouldn’t be. She wasn’t going to ride in the back seat with her child…until Hailey started wailing the day we brought her home from the hospital. Her child wasn’t going to eat her way through the grocery store…until a lady got so sick of Hailey’s tantrum that she actually told Hailey to shut up. Television wasn’t going to babysit her child…until Marjie was completely unable to make dinner three nights in a row. Honestly, children are so humbling.
8. Children’s vitamins make great projectiles. Enough said.
7. Some things never change. For some reason, David expects the programmed features on our telephone to be intuitive. One day Marjie patiently tried to give him key by key instructions, but he kept jumping ahead and goofing it up. The very next day, David’s mom happened across his second grade report card. His grade for “Follows Directions Carefully”? “S-” (less than satisfactory).
6. Old photos can come in handy. Marjie couldn’t stand Hailey’s bangs anymore so she cut them. Of course she hadn’t expected Hailey to shake her head quite so ferociously. By the time she finished, Hailey’s hair looked like it had been assaulted by a runaway hedge trimmer. David’s mother Shan was greatly distressed by her granddaughter’s new look and gave Marjie a pretty hard time. It was David’s sister Karen who saved the day. She dug up her second-grade school picture where, lo and behold, she had the same bangs!
5. There are things you shouldn’t tell your grandchildren. We helped Shan move into a senior community this year. It meant going through twenty years of stuff. The spice cabinet alone took hours. Marjie had excavated her way back to the seventies when she handed Shan yet another mystery bottle. Shan sniffed it and gasped. We started cracking up. When Marjie mentioned something about possessing less than an ounce, Shan immediately dumped it down the drain. At this point, we were laughing so hard we couldn’t have inhaled even if we wanted to. By the way, we interviewed all of the likely suspects and they each swear it wasn’t theirs. If you have information regarding this item, we don’t want to know.
4. Babies and dogs need to come to their own terms. We used to guard Hailey from Flapjack when she had a cracker. However she would inevitably drop the cracker and the dog would inhale it. Hailey rarely noticed until the day he stole the cookie from her hand. Hailey grabbed Flapjack’s head and shook it saying, “No, no, no!” It was her first sentence! But she didn’t get the cookie back. A few days later, Hailey got her revenge. While Flapjack was in the yard, she pulled down his box of Milkbones, carried it to the screen door and, one by one, carefully stacked each treat in a neat pile just inside the screen. The poor dog went nuts. He could see and smell them, but couldn’t get to them. Hailey, on the other hand, was having a great time.
3. Grandmas have special powers. After some exhausting flights to get to the family reunion in Hawaii, four-year-old Kaylee wanted to be carried on the long walk through Honolulu airport. When her mom objected to making Grandma carry her that far, Kaylee replied, “I not heavy when Ganma carries me.”
2. The most treasured moments aren’t planned. There we were in Hawaii filling our days with some amazing snorkeling, swimming, sailing, and exploring. But the best memory? After dinner in Hanalei, Hailey’s cousins were playing tag on the grass. And there was Hailey wobbling after her adored, 8-year-old cousin Wesley just as fast as her toddler legs could carry her yelling, “Weshey! Don’t wun away! Don’t wun away! ‘Top!” The cousins would zoom by first in one direction and then the other with Hailey well behind them. And when Wesley finally did stop? Hailey grinned up at him and waited for him to run away again.
1. A hug makes it all worthwhile. Marjie has decided to become an elementary school teacher. While she’s applying to grad school, she volunteers at Slater Elementary. Just a week into volunteering, a little girl gave Marjie her first gift, three carefully penciled teddy bears labeled Mary, Lily & Rosie. That afternoon on Marjie’s way home a shy, quiet, sweet girl gave Marjie a big hug. That’s what was missing from Marjie’s old career…hugs!
Another year has flown by! We send our love and wish you all the best for the holidays and in the new year. We hope you get lots of hugs and have fun learning whatever lessons life has in store for you and your family.
Marjie, David, Hailey & Flapjack