Merry Christmas everybody! Here is our family updates as we head into 2018. Ellie, we are coming to realize, is a natural born sexist. She is four and says things like “Mom, you can’t do that right? Only boys can do that.” And I always respond with something like “well, no, girls can do that too.” Invariably, she will take this in but then follow it up with a clarification. “Mom, but you are not as strong as boys. That’s what I’m sayin’. Mom’s can’t do that because they are not strong enough…but Daddies are!” And I say “Ellie, girls can do anything boys can do.” And she says “but they are not as strong.” And because she doesn’t understand that there are different kinds of strength, or that trash bags are not that heavy, I just concede the argument and understand she won’t be leading the feminist movement any time soon.
Jeremiah is eleven and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He also asks the most ridiculous questions at the most inopportune times. I’ll be rushing out the door to get everyone in the car and to school— hauling kids and buckling belts and counting bags and making multiple trips in and out of the house for coats and boots and whatnot and Jeremiah will think it’s a great time to say “mom, what is your favorite lime?” So I just freeze a second trying to compute what he just asked amid the flurry and think about a possible answer. MY FAVORITE LIME? What kind of a question is this? I don’t know how to answer vague questions like this. I feebly answered “key?” even though it’s not true, it’s just the only type of lime I could think of. After dinner one night he asked “what’s your favorite element on the periodic table?” I got excited because it was a question that actually could have a straight forward answer, albeit, one I had never, ever, even once, contemplated in my lifetime.
Isabella, who is almost sixteen now, attended a new school this year and as part of her program there, is set to travel to Colombia for a month with her class in the Spring. If I’m being honest, most of the things I know about her life have to do with boys. I cannot list all the boys I have heard about this year or it would be longer than this entire letter. You think I’m exaggerating. I assure you I am not. But because this is a Christmas update letter I suppose I have to come up with something else so I will tell you this: She likes a musician by the name of Lil Pump, and if you know who this is, don’t tell me because I would prefer to be willfully blind on this issue. She was throughly obsessed with David Bowie and his song Space Oddity at the beginning of this year, too. She wore a Nine Inch Nails beanie the other day. And her absolute favorite song in the world is La Vie En Rose by 1930’s French singer, Edith Piaf. She has very eclectic taste in music.
Olivia has watched the new Beauty and the Beast movie a thousand times. She cracks up when people talk in weird ways like accents or boisterously. She loves going to school most days and will do anything for a laugh. She was the sole inspiration and star of our families “Somebody To Love” Music Video Fundraiser this year and raised $32k for FAST. At the FAST Gala this year they announced plans to start human clinical trials using the funds we all raised and as of now there are six different approaches scientists can use to #cureangleman. This is amazing. I whisper to Olivia all the time that we are all working hard so that she would have the opportunity to talk one day. She smiles and hugs my neck if I’m sitting next to her alone. If her dad is also next to her though, she prefers to close her eyes and rub her nose over and across his beard and ignore me completely. She prefers him mostly, but it’s okay, every family needs a “daddy’s girl.”
Jeremy and I had the incredible honor of attending the FAST Gala for Angelman Syndrome in Chicago this year. We made a road trip out of it which made some people audibly gasp in horror. WHY WOULD YOU DRIVE WHEN YOU COULD FLY?? I don’t understand why everyone thinks flying is a superior experience. Let me park my car one million miles away, then stand in line to get strip searched and sit on a crowded, germ infested capsule while we blast unnaturally into the sky, listen to our headphones and hope we don’t crash while the engines make disconcerting noises as opposed to good conversation and Starbucks stops with my love. But I’m getting off track. We drove, okay? And here’s what happens when you drive: you see the landscape change before your eyes. No sooner had we passed the “Welcome to Nebraska” sign, we beheld a corn field on the right. Then, the second we drove into Iowa a huge Bass Pro Shop appeared. I thought I’d have to wait at least a little while for these states to stereotype themselves, but I was wrong. When we arrived in Chicago my phone was stolen. I never misplace my phone so I knew it was stolen. I mean, we were in Chicago for crying out loud—OF COURSE IT WAS STOLEN—or so the story went until we found it between the car seats the next day, which let’s be honest, only stereotyped us.
In whole family news, we are having the least festive Christmas ever. We can’t find our Christmas boxes, so until we move next year they will stay nicely stashed away someplace “safe.” Because of this, Jeremy has proposed we buy an artificial pre-lit tree. I have never had an artificial tree. It seems wrong. We are surrounded by Evergreens in Steamboat. But he is adamant. We also don’t have stockings accessible which means I will be headed to Wal-Mart this week to purchase six standbys. I have no garland for the fireplace. No mistletoe to kiss under. No fancy industrial wrapping paper cutter. This is sad. I will have to use regular scissors this year. But of course, that is not what Christmas is all about so you don’t need to play us a tune on your tiniest violin. We have each other. And a HoneyBaked ham in the mail. And matching Christmas Pajamas. And Jesus of course…woah, way to squeak that in there at the last minute WHILE DESCRIBING WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT, eh?— What in the actual world? I think I have to go now and pray.
Merry Christmas every one!