We have a tradition every Christmas Eve. The kids read “The Night Before Christmas” before heading to bed. It carries on from a tradition I had with my parents when I was a child. It makes me happy that the tradition is continuing for another generation. (At least this far. I realize the kids are growing!)
There were a lot of milestones this year. Literally and figuratively. This year, our family participated in the Centennial Bay to Breakers. That’s about 7.5 milestones right there! We mostly walked the course, but we still managed a respectable time.
For my father-in-law’s birthday, the whole family went to Las Vegas, and it gave me the opportunity to take the kids to see Hoover Dam, just like my dad did for me when I was a kid. I’d always wanted to be able to do that – share something amazing like that with my own kids.
Otherwise, Vegas isn’t really our style. So we went to our favorite hotel in San Diego, and spent some relaxing time poolside and at the beach.
Maddie continues to play the piano, and performs at our little community recitals. Aaron’s a voracious reader and excels at a sandbox computer game called Minecraft. As a matter of fact, Aaron and I took a father-son excursion to the first ever Minecraft Convention.
A little before Thanksgiving, my father passed away. It was unexpected and sudden, and we all take some comfort in that he didn’t needlessly suffer. We’re going to celebrate this Christmas in his memory, and we’ll live our lives in a way that would make him happy and proud. That’s how he raised me.
We hope you have a happy holiday season, and that you let your loved ones know how special they are to you.
My father unexpectedly passed away a week ago. While going through his many books, a newspaper clipping with this poem fell out of one:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
I can’t help but feel that he’d have wanted me to find it.
The newspaper clipping attributed it to “Author Unknown” but it has since been attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye.
I revisited an old website that asked, “What makes you smile?” This was in March of 2005. I answered,
Lately, watching my 2-year-old son, squat down to pick up his stool that he’d just used to stand on to reach the sink, pick it up, stand up, move it six inches, gently put it down, stand up, climb on it so he could reach the lights to turn them off.
All that work, for such a simple thing. But it makes him so happy to do it himself.
It’s six years later now, and that memory is still easy to bring back. I remember relishing the moment while it was happening, too. Funny how the little things can be the most enduring.
I love that the following is an actual discussion we had today:
“Daddy, can we play with your Identity Disc?”
“OK, but don’t actually derez each other. Play nicely.”
Aaron told us about his dream last night. His sister and I were in it, and we were all playing Minecraft in his dream, as we sometimes do in real life. He didn’t want his mother to feel left out, so he gave her this advice:
Mommy, you should play MineCraft if you want to be in my dreams.
Why hasn’t this nine-year-old blog been updated as frequently as it used to be? Let’s take a look at the most recent email I sent to the kids:
Hi Aaron and Madison!
Here’s what Notch says about the latest Minecraft update:
The kids are fully wired, now. They’re learning about different aspects of online activity. I’m honing their bullshit detectors and their netiquette. They read blogs, watch videos and play sandboxed video games.
I love this blog, and I’m going to keep it around. It may even be updated occasionally.
But for now, I’m going to log in with the kids and we’re going to update our 1:1 replica of our real-life house in Minecraft with the new things in the game.
This is no longer an online journal about life with the kids. My life with my kids is now online, too.