Each year, I procrastinate writing this letter until the last minute. This year is no different. For days now, I’ve been attempting to make some progress, but with the recent events in Newtown, CT, I’ve had difficulty trying to find humor and joviality in my retrospective holiday rhetoric and in the holidays in general. But then it occurred to me, that now, more than ever, we have even more to be grateful for as we gather to be with family, friends, and that uncle that nobody talks about (you know who you are).
So as we all try to get our feet grounded again, let us all remember what’s important in life: Larry the Bus Driver. Yes, we have a new family member that is quite similar to that previously mentioned uncle. Larry is Ava & Zoe’s school bus driver. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but the AZ duo managed to procure two highly coveted bus passes on the Kindergarten black market. I did not approve but there they go, each morning, to climb aboard the big yellow cheese box driven by the long lost cousin of ZZ Top. While I’m sure he is a wonderful man with a big heart, I’m also not convinced that he doesn’t think it’s still 1967. But each day he drives away with two of my most prized possessions and all I do is give the mechanical, and somewhat goofy parent fast wave as they peek out the windows with what I’m sure is pot smoke coming out the cracked, aging windows and the tattered peace symbol bumper sticker.
Sometimes, especially lately, you just gotta have faith in your fellow ZZ Top bus driver. Hold on tight.
So, now you know that Ava & Zoe are now transportation barons and cruise the G-town strip with Larry, but I’m also happy to report that Connor is now officially in Pre-School as well. A building block savant and lady killer at his core, he struts each day into his classroom ready to take on the next challenge with gusto and determination. My impressions were validated when I met with his teacher for our first parent-teacher conference: “Connor is a very smart and polite young man and a pleasure to have in class. Except for when he slaps the young teachers in the ass and giggles.” Ahh, yes. A proud moment.
2012 was also the kids’ first airplane ride and visit to Disney World. As many of you may have seen, I do have a picture of Connor which clearly demonstrates that Disney IS the most magical place on earth. If not, suffice to say, Connor maintains a distinctive pout with the backdrop of the Magic Kingdom. But he has promised me that he will behave the next time because Daddy, “you’re my BFF.”
Val has continued her passion for running as evidenced by her running of the Falmouth Road Race, the Tufts 10k for Women, the Georgetown Road Race, and the daily “Get your ass back here Connor Durney” as we affectionately call it. Her timings are impressive on the first three but the latter she has yet to finish. And maybe that’s a good thing because I fear that Mr. C would be in trouble if she catches him.
As for me, I have a new job that I love and find to be wholeheartedly fulfilling and important. I continue to engage in my love affair with cheese (no judging people) and those damned white Lindt balls. I also remain committed to Dog Rescue and work with a local rescue regularly. Even Val and the kids have joined the cause and can often be found on a Saturday morning cleaning crates and socializing little puppies that were discarded for whatever lame reason. It is important work that has meaning, compassion, and oh, the stench of those crates in the morning!!
The year has been full of adventure – Zoe crashed her chin at the playground and had about 35 stitches, Ava bit her dentist and then gave her a bear hug when leaving, we bought yet another coffee maker (the no judging theme applies here again), the girls joined a soccer league although I’m not sure you could call what they did soccer, A&Z got bunk beds, Ava discovered her passion for singing “Call Me Maybe” and Preston continues his quest to sleep on our bed with perpetual success.
So, as you can see, it was a great year and the last week in particular has reminded us that we have a lot for which to be grateful. We have three amazing kids that keep us smiling, learning, and keeping us from living a life of pure self-indulgence (dammit). We’ve made some great new neighborhood friends and successfully completed our 11th annual Pre-Thanksgiving Group Thanksgiving but in December.
So during this holiday season, be nice to that uncle, your Larry, and each other. And eat, be merry, and laugh together and often. That really is all that matters in life.