With the new year a full three weeks old now, the presidential inauguration in the rear view window, and the holiday hangover fading in memory, I took a look back at some of my favorite home moments from 2016. Here are a few of them:
While eating dinner as a family one evening, Cade abruptly announced, “I like it doggy style.” You can imagine the horrified and shocked glances Yan and I exchanged with each other, both simultaneously wondering how our 8-year-old even knew about such things. Then, before we could react, he put his hands behind his back, lowered his head, and began eating directly from his plate. Finally, he exclaimed, “See, it’s just so much more efficient!” Yan and I burst out laughing and shared an immense sense of relief that the seriousness of our conversation with Cade that evening needed to go no deeper than proper table manners.
Ella started writing prompts in her first-grade class this year. One of the questions from her teacher was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ella’s written response was simply and succinctly, “Not a lawyer.” Seeing this come home in her classwork folder one day really tickled me. So I had to ask her why she didn’t want to be a lawyer. She replied, “Because I want to be a veterinarian.” So I asked the obvious, “Why didn’t you just write down you wanted to be a veterinarian, then?” Ella said, matter-of-factly, “Because I don’t want anyone to even think I’m going to be a lawyer.” Okay, I get it. But I must say, that was a very lawyeresque way of answering the question!
On the way to school one morning, Cade caused me another momentary panic. Out of the blue, he made the comment, “When I grow up, I want to get lots of booty.” Completely shocked, I couldn’t form a response and only managed to stammer and stutter a bit. Then, after a brief moment of interrnal reflection, Cade continued, “Daddy, do pirates still get paid in booty?” Whew! Another bullet dodged. I feel so much better equipped to have a conversation about the pros and cons of piracy as a career choice than I do about having an in-depth discussion regarding “booty” as it relates to the birds and the bees at this point in my children’s lives.
Finally, the newest addition to the family, Alexa (the Amazon personal voice assistant), has created many moments of laughter – and yes, we were laughing at her, not with her – in our home. However, there’s one in particular that sticks in my mind. Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, we were all discussing our previous year’s delicious smoked turkey and whether we should prepare the turkey that way again. So to get some other ideas I asked, “Alexa, how do you cook a turkey?” The response was, “The recipe or ingredient I found for turkey is: turkey.” We all got a big laugh and it turned out Alexa was technically right– turkey did indeed turn out to be the main ingredient in our Thanksgiving day turkey.
Being a parent is hard. There are lots of moments of frustration and worry. But thankfully, the moments which really stick with me are the ones of joy and laughter. Here’s looking forward to more of those great moments throughout 2017.