Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas 2012

Traveling recently on the Subway, a woman and a small boy sat down next to me and proceeded speaking with one another in a language I’m going to presume was of Asian extraction – trust me on this one.  The conversation went something like this:

Woman: “Asian words, Asian words, Asian words, Asian words, Asian words.”
Boy: “Asian words, Asian words, Asian words, Asian words, Asian words.”

This went back and forth as the train made its way uptown.  Suddenly, after a long string of consonance from the boy, this is what I hear the woman say:

            Woman: “Asian words, Asian words.  Yeah, something like that.”

Huh?!!  Did I suddenly become fluent in a language in which I’ve had no previous experience?  Sadly, no.  Just as I was considering this possible moment of genius, the boy rattled off another barrage of wild words with the woman responding in kind – I was alone again in a sea of linguistic loss tossed about by waves of strange sounds and foreign phonics. 

This annual note from the Greene family will probably have the same effect: long strings of senseless ramblings punctuated by a short burst (or two, if you’re lucky) of coherence. 

Having reached the age of 12 (with all body parts intact) this year, Sam is now in junior high.  This rite of passage has brought the inevitable: the need to see how long he can keep his P.E. clothes in his locker and go without bringing them home to be washed.  I don’t know about other parts of the country, but in our neck of the woods, the junior high and high schools don’t have lockers for the students in which to keep their books – they (school administrators) are fearful that someone might conceal a weapon or explosive device in a locker.  That’s all fine and dandy, but shouldn’t it be just the opposite: if Sam’s P.E. locker is anything to go by, he’s concealing a deadly weapon that drops a stink bomb each time he opens it and allows his clothes to air – make the boys (at least) take their clothes home every day instead of 75 pounds of books.  The chiropractors lobby won’t be happy about it, but the rest of the free world will be grateful. 

While there were times we weren’t sure he would live to see 15 ½ (he’s had his death-defying moments, and we’re just talking about our dealings with him as his parents), Jack has obtained his driving permit.  In preparation for his eventually obtaining his actual license next month, we purchased a small used pick-up truck for him to get himself to and from school.  Jack keeps referring to it as “my truck”; each time he does so, we quickly remind him that the truck belongs to us and that we’re allowing him to use it for OUR convenience.  To the best of my knowledge, the truck hasn’t been Christened with a name yet, but if Erin has her way, I’m sure it would be named something like “Carpool Freedom” or “The Great Emancipator”.  Recently, Jack has joined a shooting club (trap and skeet, not drive-bys and contract hits – those come later, I think), and he’s really enjoying it.  He’s graduated from “pull my finger” to just “pull” – we’ll take our parental victories wherever we can get them. 

Although Queen Creek has yet to live up to its name – still no sightings of hordes of cross-dressers roaming our suburban streets – it’s still a great place to visit.  Come over to our place: we can sit on the front porch, watch a haboob or two, and then go inside to escape the oppressive heat.  (We write a heck of a travel brochure, don’t we?)  If that doesn’t sway you, we promise to buy you a Coke the size of a kiddie pool – it’s the least we could do.