Friday, October 29, 2010
The Inaugural Year-1994
Mom always taught us to "never say never" and as usual, it seems that she was right. I said I'd never give my baby a pacifier, never drink before dusk, never go to bed mad, never go through another labor, and never write one of these cop-out Christmas letters.
Now that we're through with True Confessions, let me admit that 1994 was a year full of changes challenges chaos. Last winter truly tested our sanity with the weather channel being the highlight of the day followed by the inevitable bad news call from the contractor, the sitter, and the nursery school. By 7:30 AM we were well into Play-doh, Barney, and the third pot of coffee. But as Mom also said "this too shall pass" and it did...eventually. Spring was a sight for sore eyes when it finally arrived around mid-June...along with reinforcements from across the Atlantic. Judith, and Irish college student, came to spend the summer and help us get through the last months of pregnancy and construction. After an eight week long labor and a six week long punch list, on August 5th our sweet Nicole arrived, and on August eighth (our seventh anniversary for anyone who's counting), the contractors moved out and our family room was complete at last.
The fall was a welcome reprievefrom plaster dust and buzz saws, but I realized we didn't really need a family room after all...we have a mini-van. Between three different schools, swimming, dance, tennis, and the ubiquitous playdate, we're logging quite a few miles on the rapidly deteriorating Plymough Voyager.
Phil's new responsibilities at work are challenging for us both as his hours have taken on a life of their own. (Please forward this letter to him when you;re done reading so he can hear about our year too.) Luckily, when he is home, he resembles 'Dad of the Year' and can conquer any dissent among the troops with a rousing game of 'Simon Says' or 'Hide and Go Seek in the Dark'. He also makes a mean grilled cheese, is on a first name basis with the cashiers at Grand Union, and though not big on diaper changing, is quite proficient with the infant nasal aspirator (aka snot puller).
The kids are a constan source of joy and consternation. Kristen is learning to read, write, and lord it over her brothers. Wilie loves to run, swim, argue, and ask sticky questions about heaven, God, and how babies get out, Kevin, when not terrorizing his siblings, entertainms us with his rendition of Billy Joel's River of Dreams and accomanying dance (now available on video cassette), and Nicole is busy trying to get her whole fist in her mouth while takeing in the antics around her.
This Christmas, I'm asking Santa for a full-time chauffer, a live-in pediatrician, and a referee willing to work overtime. Phil would be happy with an early spring (and tee-tiem), a less than 200 mile jaunt to the World Series of Poker, a salesman/trader who doesn't whine, and a chance to get snowed in with his family for a four day weekend.
We're excited about our first no=travel Christmas and are grateful to our families for breaking tradition to come to us this year. We wish you a holiday filled with family and friends and a year filled with peace and joy.
Gretchen, Phil, Kristen, Willi, Kevin and Nicole