...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Scrapbook 2013

Happy holidays everyone! It is that time of year when I pull out every photo of the boys I have taken over the past year, pick my favorites, and create my virtual scrapbook. It's always one of my favorite projects to work on.

This year was a crazy rollercoaster ride for us at the SRM household. We've had new additions added to our family (which reminds me to post the blog about our newest family member... must get on that soon). We've had family move closer, family friends move from the north east to join us in NC, Xavier started middle school, and so much more.  My apologies for the lack of reading material. I am finding that free time where I am actually awake and coherent is nonexistent lately. Maybe for Christmas this year I will ask Santa for more time in the day. I wonder if I've been good enough?

Anyways I hope that all of you are doing well, enjoying the end of the year, and I raise my glass of spiked eggnog to you in celebration. Enjoy the humorous antics of my boys, my gift to you!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Been Seven Years, Ashe

It's always amazing to me when another year has gone by and I look at my boy standing there, so proud, so excited that he is a new age, and yet, I can remember in vivid detail the day he was born. For each parent and child I am sure that this is common. But Ashe... Ashe is special. He was born on December 12 at 12:11 pm.

12/12 12:11

Do you know how many times, my lovely Ashe, that I have been asked why I didn't hold you in for one more minute so that you were born  12/12 12:12pm? Do you know how many times I have had to hold back from smacking those idiots? Of course, they do not realize that by that time I had been holding you back for ten minutes while the doctor ran as fast as she could to make it from the opposite side of the hospital, after already trying to keep you at bay from being born in the car during a five minute car ride to the hospital. Or that she barely skidded into the room when I yelled "Catch!" and you were born. And of course, they don't realize that, let's be honest here, there really is no such thing as holding you back.

The fact that you were born on 12/12 at 12:11 and not 12:12 is just another reminder that you are the writer, performer, and conductor to your own epic soundtrack of your life. You are the hero of your story, unstoppable, undefeated! No one can take that away from you, nor should anyone try.

Seven years, my love. Seven years you have graced us with your vibrant soul. It seems that not nearly enough time has passed for you to be seven while also trying to remember what life was like before you entered the world like a comet in a blaze of glory, hell bent to make your entrance to this glorious world known far and wide. I can barely remember life without you. I don't want to know life without you.

You make life so much more! More of everything! More fun! More loud! More inspiring! More chaotic! More frustrating! More fulfilling! More worthwhile!!!

You, my child, will go far in life in whatever you do. You own this stage called life, and you know it. And while sometimes this knowledge you keep creates many situations where I want to pull out my hair in frustration as you make some sarcastic comment with that little smirk on your face, totally confident in yourself, that confidence you exude as a child will be a huge strength as you grow and reach maturity. It will lift you up when you stumble and push you to move forward when many people would just stop and stay down after their fall.

My advice to you child, as you grow... don't stay down when you stumble. Don't ever stay down. You were made, not to fall, but to fly. And you will fly high.

I watch you now, at seven years old. So confident. So funny. So amazingly smart. So stubborn. So full of life. Everyone you touch is forever changed for the better. You make everyone laugh. You make them smile. You make them think. You make them wonder in delight. Seven years old and you can do all that and more.

Ashe, you are amazing. Never change your ways for anyone. And please, never forget that you are SO loved, that I can't even begin to describe to you in a blog, or through our chats just how much you are loved and cherished by me, your father, your brothers, your grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends.....

You are SO loved. And my love, may I wish for you today the most happiest of birthdays, and an awe filled year ahead of you.

Happy birthday Ashe!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Reincarnated


This past summer J and I made an executive decision after a long time discussing all probable outcomes as well as the ethics involved revealing to Xavier a long held secret many parental units hold tightly to until they feel the time is right. Many parents are saved making this delicate decision by their own kids professing beforehand that they already know the secret. Some of you end up like us, having to walk a hairline wire to ensure you don’t forever damage your child.

I’m talking about revealing the truth about Santa.


Every parental unit has their own reasons that fuel this decision if they have to make it. Ours were because Xavier was now eleven, would be close to twelve by the time this Christmas would arrive, and because he had started the dreaded middle school era of his life. Xavier is so exuberant in his convictions of anything, that our greatest fear would be the topic of Santa discussed at the lunch table, and after Xavier professing his unwavering belief that a big guy in a red suit living at the North Pole flew around the world in one night to give presents t good boys and girls would cause his new friends to look at him with less respect and tease him. Or they would be the ones to tell him the truth and he would come home, trust broken in us.

We also wanted to be the ones to explain because while the mythical figure Santa may not exists as a corporal being, he does exist as the spirit of Christmas. We wanted to explain to Xavier that Santa is the symbol of love, family, charity, thoughtfulness, generosity, all wrapped up in a stocking hat and big black boots.

So we approached him cautiously one day as a team. We asked him what his thoughts were about Santa. And we asked him if he knew that there was a super-secret club he could join, that only adults and mature kids could join? And would he like to join it, with the understanding that once he did, he couldn’t undo it?

He was resistant. Defensive. Wary. Were we trying to tell him that Santa wasn’t real??? (No, not really.) Of COURSE Santa was real!!!! How dare we imply otherwise! Have we been lying to him this whole time?

So we left it then with him understanding that that was not what we were doing, and that if he became interested in talking more, to come to us.

Over the past several months, Xavier would approach us and ask us if Santa was real. We’d ask him what he believed. He said Santa was real. Ok then, that’s awesome.

And then came Thanksgiving Day. We were hanging out at my mom’s house when Xavier approached me.

“I think I’m ready to join the super-secret club.”

“Are you sure?”


“Ok then. Sit down and let me tell you some history about Christmas and Santa.”

“You mean mythology of Santa?”

“No, I mean his history.”


And so he sat, and my friend G guarded the back door so no other kids could show up unexpectedly, and I told Xavier the history of Santa. About a guy long ago named Nicholas, and how he helped out a poor family with three daughters who had no money for a dowry. How he slipped into their house and left dowry’s for them so they could have a chance at a good life that would have otherwise been impossible. And how that one good deed resonated so far that he was made a saint, St. Nicholas. And how that story spread far and wide across the world, and people latched onto it and started to echo that idea, about charity, love, generosity, etc.

And then I explained that while Santa is not what he always thought he was, he is real in the idea of Christmas. And that we adults continue to echo his deeds, varied over the years, to keep that meaning alive. And when a child becomes old enough, the parents ask them to join in and continue the message for his siblings, and later on, his own children.

Xavier, despite my fears, ate it up. It was like a light went on, and his understanding of Christmas grew larger, deeper, and more meaningful. And after I explained this all to him I asked him if he would like to be Santa with us this year. And he smiled and nodded…..but added a few caveats to it ;)

He didn’t want to help choose the gifts, because he still wanted to be surprised. He didn’t want to help wrap those gifts up, but did want to be the one to put them under the tree. He did want to help stuff his brothers stockings, but not his own. And he didn’t want to be around when J and I placed the rest of the family gifts under the tree. All easily done.

Since then, he has come up to me to ask me for more information. He’s asked about the Easter Bunny. The Tooth Fairy. He wants to know how we can hide eggs so well, and insists that I am part ninja for getting his teeth out from under his pillow while slipping money and a note as a replacement. He wanted to know why the Leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day stopped coming, and was he really scared of the traps set out to capture him by Xavier or was Dad (in charge of leaving chocolate coins out) just forgetful? (Yes)

I’ve watched Xavier over the past week as we set up our tree, do our advent calendars, and listen to holiday music. I’ve watched him cock his head once in a while, lost in thought. And then I’ve watched a little smile creep up on the side of his face as if he knows something others don’t. As he realizes just how important this secret club really is, and he is both in awe of how we parental units do it every year, and how he is now responsible for such a big secret.

And he is so proud to be a part of it.


I am too. I couldn’t have asked for it to have gone any better. May my two other children find the reincarnation of Santa just as awe inspiring when they too join our club.