January: Starting off the year with a new position, K. took over the WNBA Great Group Reads Panel after being a reader on it since 2009. The new position came with an avalanche of books to read and a trip to Denver to attend the American Bookseller’s Association Winter Institute, where she had to talk to strangers, the only drawback of the job so far. With barely enough time to get home, unpack, and do laundry, K. left for Ohio, this time with R., to do some college visits.
February: This month we went up to High Point for a Family Weekend visit to W. He let T. (and Gatsby) spend the night with him in the dorm. We still haven’t been brave enough to ask him what all they did. We probably don’t want to know. The following weekend was Presidential Scholars Weekend at High Point for R. and since she was busy with activities, I’m sure W. was thrilled to be seeing mom for the second time in two weeks. Finally this month, K. and R. drove up to Pittsburgh for a final college visit.
March: T. performed as the Sheriff of Nottingham in The Somewhat True Tales of Robin Hood at the middle school North Carolina Theater Conference competition. Who knew that baddies from the sixteenth century rolled their eyes and pulled attitude just like teenagers today? It should go without saying that he’s fantastic at this but the judges agreed as he was awarded only one of five male Excellence in Acting Awards for his part.
April: This month, just like most of the months of the year, we almost never saw D. thanks to his insane travel schedule. At this point, he might have enough airline and hotel miles for us to move out of the house and just roam the country free forever. With two college tuition bills heading our way, we seriously considered it!
May: W. finished up his first year at college and promptly head up to Michigan to wait tables at the Les Cheneaux Culinary School. He is now especially thrilled when people ask him for balsamic vinaigrette or all about wine reductions. If you see him, be sure to test his culinary knowledge by asking about these two things in particular. While up north, he and K. got to experience boating in the snow. This is an even worse idea than it sounds like it is. Also this month, the 8th grade went to Atlanta. As neither of us was crazy enough to volunteer to chaperone, all we know about the trip is that T. came home with a t-shirt and other varieties of plastic tourist junk that kids can only buy when their parents aren’t with them.
June: This was a busy month for us as T. graduated from eighth grade one day and R. graduated from high school the next. T. earned an Achievement in Mathematics Award at his graduation, and no, he wasn’t the only kid in the class (we checked). Next we headed to “forced socialization with strangers” aka college orientation for R. D. could only pop over and embarrass her briefly because his tennis team was playing at States that same weekend. They won and headed off to Sectionals later in the summer.
July: R.’s final dance Nationals was in Nashville this month. We were lucky enough to stay with wonderful friends who not only took in dancer and mom, but also T. (who hung out at their house 24/7) and Gatsby, who discovered that horses are magnitudes of scale bigger than she is and therefore terrifying. After the last dance, we piled into the car and headed up to Michigan to rejoin W.
August: Staying up north a little longer than usual, T. had the chance to sail in the kid’s regatta. He took third, mostly because he was smart enough to sail with someone who was a better sailor than he was. We’ll have to teach him some sea shanties for next year so he can continue to crew. K. came down with shingles this month. The doctor kindly suggested that she was too young to get them (about the only thing she’s too young to get anymore) and she was lucky enough to have a really light case. Eventually we had to go home to move R. and W. into college. Despite going to the same school, we had to make two separate trips up there on two different days. This might have saved us money in not having to ship forgotten things if the gas cost didn’t cancel that savings out completely.
September: D. had a business trip take him to London this month and K. chose to tag along. He regretted letting her come when he saw the number of books she bought over there, and even more so when he tried lifting her luggage on the way home. This month was Family Weekend at college. So kind of W. and R. to make our lives easy and go to the same school. By the end of the weekend, D. had made friends with all of the roommate/suitemate/friend dads and I’m not sure we’ll be invited back for the spring weekend. And finally, R. turned 18 until this month, making us the parents of two adults and only one child. Proving that this idea never gets old, W. and R. insist on getting T. the children’s menu at all restaurants because he’s still a kid. (Can we get a collective “Poor T!” here?)
October: Because we enjoy paying outrageous car insurance, we thought T. should get in the act with his siblings and start to think about driving. K. took him out for his first experience behind the wheel in the elementary school parking lot. By the end of it, his leg was quivering and she was thinking about packing a flask the next time they go out. Really looking forward to him starting driver’s ed in December. No. Really. It was great.
November: R., her roommate, and several friends bought themselves a hedgehog a few months before this. Everything was all fine and dandy until Needles was discovered in their dorm room. This earned him a quick ticket to Charlotte since it was $25 a day to keep an illegal pet. He and K. are still adjusting to each other. And by that I mean he bites her, hisses, and puts up his spikes whenever he hears her voice while she calls him names and curses as she cleans out his cage. Pretty sure they’re going to be besties any time now. T. finished up what is probably his final soccer season and not wanting to create a vacuum in that space, tried out for the indoor track team. The coach decided he looks like a pole vaulter. We’re pretty sure that means he’s crazy, fearless, and completely willing to launch his body into the air using a swizzle stick. All we can say is yep, that fits. As 2016 comes to a close, we hope that all of you are surrounded by family, peace, love, and happiness now and throughout the coming year.