Holiday Letter 2015

feet from bed

Photo credit: dreamstime.com

The children are nestled, too long for their beds, with visions of being taller than Mom dancing in their heads. Hey, it was a big theme this year, as were…

The Top Ten Things We Learned in 2015

  1. We don’t realize how tall we are. Marjie was settling her class for the Spanish teacher when a 3rd grader stood on his chair. When he realized that he was eye to eye with his teacher, he said, “This is what it looks like from where you are! This is awesome! I want to be as tall as you!” Two more boys immediately jumped up their chairs to see what he was talking about. Of course the effect lessened as more and more kids became six feet tall. The Spanish lesson didn’t do so well, either.
  1. Height isn’t the only perspective. We still can’t get the kids to watch Star Wars. Hailey finally explained, “Star Wars defined your generation, Mom. Harry Potter defined ours.” But Star Wars is back. May the force be with us.
  1. Sisters won’t stop measuring. Sixteen-year-old Hailey asked to borrow Marjie’s 3” wedges for her first experience in heels. They brought her to eye level with her mom. Twelve-year-old Anna asked when she could wear high heels. “When you’re sixteen.” Anna shot back, “Why do I have to wait?” Marjie said the first thing she thought of, “Because I don’t want you to break your ankle.” Anna leaned over to Hailey, “See? That means she loves me just a little bit more than you.”
  1. Sisters still won’t stop measuring. While talking about how much kids cost, Marjie remembered that we never got a hospital bill for Hailey. She was free. “That makes me the buy one,” Anna popped in. Yes, Anna you were the buy one. Those fertility treatments were expensive. And painful. But you were oh, so worth it.
  1. Social media doesn’t solve everything. We were notified, on Facebook of all things, that our eldest had changed her name. “Hailey” was too feminine for our now demi-female teen, and she wished to be called a more gender neutral “Skylar.” Pronouns should change as well from she/her to they/their. Whoa. We are an absolutely supportive family. We refer to her them as Skylar even when she they are not around. But please find new pronouns! She They won’t answer if we call her them wrong and we swim in a sea of chronic singular/plural confusion.
  1. Teenagers are goofy. Somehow we got onto the topic of life goals. “I want to be a benevolent dictator,” Skylar said, “but my backup plans are a video game designer or a writer.” Anna piped up, “I want to be a music teacher, but my backup plans are a third grader or a squirrel.” Huh?
  1. It’s good to specialize. David is the skilled family glasses cleaner. Frankly, Anna would see the world through a chronic fog if David didn’t pluck and polish them. One night, David gallantly whisked Skylar’s off to the kitchen then replaced them on their face. “Oh my gosh,” Skylar exclaimed, “This is great. I can see noise!”
  1. Some milestones are shocking. A woman gets walloped about aging at certain milestones … when she is older than Miss America, too old for the NCAA, older than her doctor, and eventually able to ignore a certain aisle in the store, but Marjie hit a big one. She was treating her mom to Denny’s when she realized she could order from the senior page. Ouch. But why was her mom laughing so hard? She is the one with a child old enough to join AARP.
  1. Phone scammers should give up. “Dell” tells us our computers have been dumping errors on the internet and we must buy service. The “IRS” or “FBI” threatens arrest if we don’t pay. Marjie’s mom solved it. When a man called to tell her that her grandson was in trouble, she made up two names, “Do you mean Dylan or Colin?” “Dylan,” he replied. Mom sweetly lied, “I don’t see how. Dylan is Pelican Bay State Prison.” “Oh,” the guy backtracked, “he must have said Colin.” Mom could barely keep it together, but went on, “Well, I hope he’s not in too much trouble. $10,000 is the most that I can send,” as she hung up. The next time we called, Anna said, “Hi, your grandson Dylan has escaped from state prison…”
  1. Teenagers are ridiculously quick. The children continue to crash our hugs which is interesting now that they are both at eye level. Marjie finally asked David, “Does she have written permission to be here?” They riposted, “Do you?” Marjie had them outflanked. “We have a marriage license.” Not so fast. “Well, I have a birth certificate.” Hmmph.

We hope your holidays were wonderful, and that the children in your life grow tall, healthy, and generous with their hugs.

Love,

David, Marjie, Skylar, Anna & Crackerjack

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