2011 was a year of change: new beginnings and a renewed dedication to the things we love, cherish, and feel the most passionate about. In a sense, it was a time to reflect, re-calibrate, and implement tangible changes in our lives that allowed us ‘walk the talk’ and feel better about the example we were setting for our children. Easier said than done for sure but as we continue down this crazy path of life, it has become ever more apparent that perfection is merely the collective journey of a thousand lessons. 999 to go.
With that vision in mind, I made a huge leap of faith and quit my job. That’s right, I gave it the axe, the whammo, adios amigos, I’m outta there. And I did. I left my job at Partners and took another job – with the same company, in the same town, building, and even floor. In fact, it was only 150 feet down the hall. Baby steps I guess. But, I am working on an entirely new project, with a new team, and new technologies so it’s been a great experience so far. Maybe my next job will be on another floor. I’m crazy like that. I also threw in a nice knee surgery this year that was just awesome.
Val took on some great challenges herself last year. She not only ran the Tufts 10k road race yet again, but she ran her first ½ marathon. And get this, she WON!* She also joined the family tradition of wearing glasses. At this point, the only hold-outs are Connor and Preston although I worry about Preston’s vision as well as he often mistakes our white carpets for an appropriate place to vomit. Furthermore, it should be noted that Val has a new boyfriend but that being said, I’m not sure the relationship will last. They argue like an old married couple. At first, it’s comical to witness the barrage of finger-pointing, eye squinting and verbal banter but it quickly becomes uncomfortable when you realize her boyfriend is only 2.
And then there’s the dynamic duo – Ava & Zoe, collectively Zova. Generally speaking, this was the year of Occupy Georgetown. It was a time of domestic disobedience, boundary testing, sibling rivalry and steel cage matches. There was a fair amount of bloodshed, unscheduled visits from the Tooth Fairy, and several buggy crashes that resulted in a considerable volume of tears but when all was said and done, the short trio always pulled together (and some hair) as best friends.
The girls are in their last year of Pre-K and getting ready for the Big K next year (sans blue light special). Now this is good and bad. Connor will be joining them for Pre-K in September but as the girls embark on their journey into kindergarten, they will be for the first time doing so by themselves. Ava & Zoe will not be in the same classroom next year. And to top it all off, there has been talk in the halls at 54 Searle that they will be taking a large yellow school bus driven by someone who may or may not have forgotten to pick up 50% of her riders in the past. Mummy seems ok with this scenario but Daddy is now on a hefty dose of Ativan.
Ava and Zoe continued their swim lessons this summer at the Brooks School outdoor pool – otherwise known as “Teen Hunk Aquatics.” This, of course, seemed like a good idea at the time. But then the girls met Sean, their new 17 year-old swim instructor adorned with six pack abs, fancy “life guard” swim trunks, a golden tan, and mirrored shades the likes of Baywatch. And just like that, IT appeared: the innate flirtatious girl swagger of twin 5 year olds. Smiling, heads tilted, and hands on hips while donning their fancy little one-pieces, Ava’s first words were: “Hi. My name is Ava. I’m 5. What’s your name?”
They are growing up fast. Too fast considering I don’t even have a gun permit yet.
Not only were the girls attempting to run the bases at the pool, they were also attempting to do so at T-Ball. The only thing that resembled any type of recognizable game was that there was indeed a ball and a bat but it was impossible to know who was on what team considering that no matter who hit the ball, every member of both teams ran after it and then refused to throw it anywhere. Good stuff.
And then there was Connor. Why is it I always take a deep breath when I say his name? I just did it again. Anyway, he has definitively re-minded us that boys are of a different species than girls. He also took swim lessons this year and while the rest of the class clang appropri-ately and desperately to their parents in the pool, Sir McFadden (as I like to call him), was only interested in catapulting himself down the tube slide in the deep end of the pool or jumping off the diving board into 15 feet of water all the while bobbing out of the water screaming “again” before the water even rolled off his face. [Shake head in horror]. The boy surely has a dark passenger (Dexter reference), but just as apparent is his strong work ethic. He spends much of his day wearing work boots and a tool belt fitted with real tools including a Sawzall.
Connor, “What are you doing? “ He declares, “I’m workin.’” “Oh, well can I have that box cutter?” He retorts, “No, don’t want to. Don’t lookah me. “
And I obey.
Life is short. So we’ve dedicated this past year to doing all we can to be physically healthy, emotionally supportive, and morally enlightened. And I can say, with no degree of doubt, that it was a successful year!
As we embark on this most wonderful time of year, we do hope that you have a great holiday season with all the people you love, and give you strength to endure and cherish the short occupiers in your life – 2 our 4 legged.
kip | val | zoe | ava | connor | preston
* In her division: must be married to Kip, have 3 children named Ava, Zoe, and Connor, and 1 pooch named Preston