Friday, December 10, 2010

Sizing up the Year - Greene Family Christmas Letter 2010

Have you ever tried to type anything over, say, 50 words in length on one of these fancy-schmancy new “Netbooks”? The keyboard’s slightly larger than a microchip but smaller than a deck of cards. Who invented these things? And you can’t say elves, because I’ve seen their fingers – they’re like little sausages. Speaking of fingers, let’s just say I wasn’t born to play the piano or palm a Nerf basketball, but even with my girlie digits, this isn’t the easiest task in the world. Granted, giving birth and passing kidney stones still rank higher on the list of difficult tasks – you will have known that if either you’ve read some of our past Christmas letters or you’ve given birth (to a human being or a kidney stone – I wouldn’t recommend both at the same time, although reading this letter may feel like that). Take a Percocet, sit back, and enjoy!

Sam has become quite philosophical this year. As the date approached for our church’s annual children’s program, one of the women helping put it together asked Sam if he would prepare a short speech. His topic: Jesus and His miracles. Erin and I knew that Sam had reached the age that he needed to put the majority of the effort into preparing this speech, so we adopted a “hands off” approach to be sure he only came to us if he REALLY needed help. The “hands off” approach worked perfectly – we completely forgot about it until the night before the program when we came home from a date (with each other – it’s too complicated any other way) and he announced that he had already written his speech. He handed us his copy and asked us to read it. My favorite part – and I believe Erin concurs – was when he wrote, “To me, Jesus is like a superhero; just he doesn’t have a secret identity. That’s one of the things I love about Jesus; and about miracles.” Later, as the mid-term elections and all the attendant rhetoric were raging, Sam was watching the news with Erin when he turned to her and said, "So Republicans are like your friends, they don't really care what you do and you can do whatever you want. Democrats are like your parents. They want to boss you around and tell you everything you have to do." Take that, McLaughlin Group!

This was the year that Jack became a teenager. As a way of appropriately ushering in this new chapter of his life, Jack and Erin organized an “Amazing Race” themed birthday party. While I can assure you no yaks were harmed in the ensuing melee and the naked flamingos were a bit unnerving, everyone had a great time. Even Colonel Sanders made an appearance (and you all thought he was dead – yes, it was THAT good of a party)! With the teen years has come a keen interest in rocket-propelled flying objects, setting fire to anything that we will allow him to burn, and cooking. Honestly, the cooking thing has been with him for quite some time, but he’s really spreading his wings and taking on new and interesting challenges – and in the process, he’s become very good at it. Now, if he could find a way to cook a chicken by engulfing it in flames and shooting it into the first layer of the stratosphere and cooling it on its descent, he’d be in heaven! There’s probably a Discovery Channel show in there somewhere. In those odd moments when he hasn’t been filling his time with culinary terrorism, Jack’s been actively involved with Boy Scouts (where I believe the campfire was the origin of his fascination with burning things) and is within a hair’s breadth of getting his Eagle (fortunately that particular bird is both revered and protected by law so Jack can’t subject it to his proclivities). If any of you may be wondering how much a hair’s breadth equals, it’s exactly halfway between a skosh and a tad – see, this is both fun AND educational!

As for Erin and myself, when we’re not busy fighting crime in our secret identities (don’t tell Sam) as Carpoolio and Hairboy (you can guess who’s who), we fill our time raising pygmy goats that resemble reality TV stars for state fairs across the country – it’s extremely rewarding.

As I’ve written in the past: our door is always open for you (I made sure of that just recently by replacing the dead bolt that had us trapped in the house for four days – fortunately, we didn’t have to resort to eating each other). The weather’s great here (for about three more months), so come on by and sit a spell – that’s an ephemeral amount of time really, but it’s longer than a moment but shorter than a coon’s age. Happy holidays!