Monday, December 28, 2009

Family Time

On the 26th, we had big plans to go to see A Christmas Carol as a family. Instead, mother nature dumped a foot of snow on Oswego in record time and we decided against our limited movie theater travel plans. It was a gorgeous snowfall. The kids and dog got out to play in it and it seemed to never stop. When we made the call to stay home, we had a houseful of disgruntled kids (like that had any right on December 26th) and needed a plan of action.

Our first attempt was an on-demand purchase of Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. As Mike and I cackled outloud, the kids made faces at each other as if to say, "What's so funny about this?" About half-way through I had an idea. We pulled out twenty or thirty old video tapes of the past eight years and hooked the camera up to the TV for some home movies.

I had eight or so tapes that weren't labeled, so I grabbed those first. As soon as we popped one in, I knew I was in for it. I nearly sobbed through the first hour, so shocked at seeing how Logan and Riley had grown, marveling at Riley's two year old performance of "Kiss the Girl" and instantly recognizing the undeniable sweetness of Logan's personality that remains the same so many years later. Babies' births and first cereal feedings and bare feet in spring mud were all over the screen. We even saw Maggie, our fifteen year old cocker spaniel wearing the red sweater she needed to keep her warm that last year and Harley, and her enormous, loving presense. I couldn't move from the TV.

It's that old cliche "They grow up so fast!" But it's true. In an instant I knew that there were really only four people that mattered and I had no need to worry about anyone else or the holiday stress that buries all of us this season. We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying each other, the way we should every day.

On Sunday, Mike and I took the kids sledding. We had a ball, all of us diving in and sucking up the two hours of constant laughter and fun. For our finale, we went back to the car for some G-rated (as Mike put it) tailgating of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. It was life as we want it, real "in the moment" stuff - traditions in the making.

As we move into 2010, a new decade, there are a few lessons learned from this one. First, we need a new camcorder - I can't support this new hobby with the hours of needed rewind time on the current model!! But seriously and most importantly, Mike and I will find ways to enjoy the short window we have with these amazing little blessings we call our kids, in spite of everything that's going on in life. Now that we've seen those videos, we know our time with them will surely be gone in the blink of an eye.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Funniest Moment - EVER!

Our family has been blessed by new arrivals to our neighborhood this summer - the perfect fit for those of us that already pal around together. Jennie and Scott have come from Scotland to Oswego - we're still wondering how they ended up here - bringing with them loads of laughs, music, friendship, a killer accent and two adorable kids. (One is Finn's age and they have regular playdates which makes this mom's world a whole lot happier!)

Before I go further, let me say that I've received advance permission to memorialize this moment on the blog (if not, I would still be begging to obtain it!) In November, shortly after we started meeting up for happy hour on the occasional weekend, us Anderson's were down at Jennie and Scott's for a few beers on a Friday night. As usual, the kids melded together easily. The girls were working on some sort of performance (ugh) and the boys (HUGE UGH) were somewhere upstairs, having a great time. For a few moments, we were just hanging out- adults relaxing from a long week. And then it happened.

I remember this in such a blur that you'll have to bear with me on the details, but here's the gist of it. Logan comes downstairs with something in her hand. She announces, "Finn and Blair were playing in Blair's mommy and daddy's room and they were playing with THIS!"

At this point, I am looking more at the adults' faces than my beautiful and innocent daughter, who is holding a hot pink twelve-inch penis-shaped vibrator in her hands. Mike's mouth instantly changed into a perfect circle and his eyes nearly jumped from his face. Scott had only what could be called a complete look of horror come over him and Jennie? Well, Jennie moved with the lightening speed only to be found in uber high-budget action movies like Mission Impossible. In a literal blur, she raced to Logan, grabbed the gadget and disappeared upstairs.

I immediately fell into a lump on their kitchen floor, my stomach tied in the tightest knots from the kind of furious laughter that I haven't felt in years, tears streaming down my face. Mike and Scott had similar reactions. After looking at us sideways for a moment, sweet Logan bounded off, onto something else.

When Jennie came down five minutes later (I'm sure the dildo is somewhere in the rafters of their house now) she was horribly embarrassed, but laughing right along with us. After another five minutes of snide remarks by the guys and belly laughs by all, all I could say was, "Well, this has certainly taken our friendship to a new level!"

Later we heard the story of how this fuchsia apparatus, a gift from Jennie's bachelorette party ten years ago, has never even been out of the box. (Uh-huh.) In order to retrieve it, those darn boys had to climb a tall dresser and get it from the box in the back of a drawer.

I guess you can say those boys are determined to ensure that everyone has a good time!

Thanks to my good friend, Jennie, for being the best good sport of all. And for letting me relive this on the blog! There's no doubt we all have a thing or two in the drawers that should stay there and there's also no doubt we'd be 100K richer if we had only had a video camera on!