January: As the year started off, D. had some training to do for his job. Since the training was in San Francisco including over a weekend, K. flew out to join D., bravely leaving the kids home alone. We suspect they only knew we were gone when no one told them to go to turn off the video games and go to bed. Once home from SF, this month saw D. working from home for the first time. This is not ideal in K.’s world. She firmly believes that children go to school and spouses go to work (outside the home) so that mama can have alone time. Having D. around 24/7 makes hiding the bonbon eating that much harder. We also replaced the carpet all over the house this month. It looked great and felt cushy at least until…
February: when the dog barfed on it for the first (and certainly not last) time. This month saw the sunny South get walloped by Snowmaggedon, trapping us all at home for an unpleasant and unprecedented amount of time. Schools were closed for so long that the kids were losing vacation days and teacher work days right, left, and center to make up for the closings. Luckily the roads cleared just as the last roll of toilet paper got dangerously close to being finished. This month was also a hard one for us as we lost K.’s beloved grandmother, Eny.
March: T. turned 12 this month, moving us dangerously closer to having three teenagers living under one roof. And K. celebrated yet another birthday at yet another dance competition for R. The things we do for our children.
April: This month, the whole family went to Wooster for D.’s fraternity reunion. While D. channeled his long buried inner frat boy, K. subjected the kids to a college tour (given by K., the former tour guide, natch) and outlet shopping. Although the reunion happened on W.’s 17th birthday, K. showed proof of age and maturity (!) and declined to allow W. to party with anyone trying to relive his own youth, including his father.
May: In May, K. went to New Orleans with a couple of friends to go to the Romantic Times Convention. What could be better than learning all about the taboos in romances, laughing through cover model karaoke, and playing in NOLA? The weekend away, booked many months in advance, coincided with W.’s junior prom and R.’s dance recital. This left D. in charge of pictures and the logistics of getting everyone where he or she needed to be. The latter happened with a little help from friends but not surprisingly, there are only two pictures of the prom goers.
June: K. traveled again this month. (See what having Dave home 24/7 drives her to do?!) She went to Detroit for the Women’s National Book Association National Meeting since she is still President of the Charlotte chapter, at least until someone else volunteers to take it over.
July: K. and the kids headed down to Florida for dance before heading up to Michigan for a much needed break. With so much driving, K. wanted a long book to listen to so she chose Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. She had high hopes that the kids would all sleep through the sexier bits (and there are some seriously sexy bits) but that clearly didn’t happen as W. started calling the book 50 Shades of Scotland and finding it very awkward to listen to it with his mother. You just never know what kind of interesting education you’ll get in the car.
August: School started this month; we now have a senior, a junior, and a seventh grader. This can’t possibly be right.
September: K.’s 25th high school reunion was this month and based on the success in January leaving the kids home alone, we tried that again. Obviously, the last time was a complete fluke. First, R. was stranded with no way to get to her dance class (one phone call with a hysterical child and many follow up phone calls with friends who stepped in and fixed it for me), then the kids set off the alarm letting the dogs out of the house and didn’t answer the phone when the alarm company called to verify they were okay. Yep, police at the door. Then, because bad things come in threes, T. broke his arm on Saturday but we didn’t know it until Monday (nor did he go to the doctor until then either). Best yet, it was a break in such an unusual place, it indicated the possibility of abuse. Not sure how much better it looked to admit we were 1,000 miles away without having left a responsible adult in charge but this fact somehow seems to have spared us a Child Services report.
October: R. competed in the Miss Dance of South Carolina competition and finished as second runner up this month. This should really mess with the heads of those of you who have finally learned that Charlotte is in North Carolina. Yes, we live in NC but she dances in SC so the SC competition is the one for which she is eligible. How she’s going to explain that discrepancy on college applications so they don’t think her geography is atrocious, I don’t know. Also this month, K. took W. on his first college visit. Luckily it wasn’t a college he has any interest in attending because he wore a t-shirt that said “I’m Just One Big Freaking Ray of Sunshine, Aren’t I?” and cargo shorts, didn’t shave the shadowy fuzz on his chin or upper lip, and when asked what he was looking for in a college, named everything that this particular college wasn’t. Driving home, K. offered some gentle constructive criticisms of his appearance and interview skills. When W. said he really didn’t want to listen anymore, she turned 50 Shades of Scotland back on. Mom for the win!
November: R. turned 16 in September but had no interest in getting her license until she realized that W. and D. would be in Ohio on college visits for several days before Thanksgiving and she’d have to take the bus to school if she couldn’t drive herself. Suddenly getting her license was *very* important and we are now going to be selling plasma as we have to insure two teenaged drivers. This month also saw T. in the middle school musical. He was Cubby the Lost Boy in their version of Peter Pan Jr. He seriously disliked wearing eye liner and was less than impressed when K. discovered that she had no makeup remover to get it off. It was still on when he went to school the next morning. Maybe that’s what the fortune teller in New Orleans was seeing when she said one of the kids was going to be Goth. Just before W. and D. left (where W. had the gall—and lack of diplomacy—to say that the official Wooster tour was better than the one K. gave him in April), W.’s first college acceptance letter arrived. You’ve never seen such celebrating! (And this means the basement will be available for visitors next year if any of you are so inclined.)