The Newton Tragedy has had a much bigger impact on me than I ever could have managed. I’ve spent most of the winter break with my children, only pawning them off on friends and family for limited amounts of time. I’ve had playdates at my home, which I’m not always a fan of, and made an effort to do more things with my children.
To begin, Hubs and I took the kiddos out of school a day before vacation really started to go away as a family, which we rarely do over holiday breaks. Our mini-vaca included my in-laws and the most incredible cart safari at the San Diego Safari Park (formerly Wild Animal Park). The weather down south was perfect, although nippy at times, yet it was the perfect getaway. And the kids enjoyed the dynamic of the six of us.
We came back to all the sounds of Christmas, which for the first year has actually gotten under my kid’s skin. Perhaps because Hanukkah was so incredibly early this year (and is even earlier next year) they were hypersensitive to it. So instead of having them frown upon it, we decided to enhance their knowledge by spending it with friends who celebrate beautifully. We spent both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with dear friends. In addition to the love that the kids feel at each of our friend’s homes, they got to see the beauty of the decor, eat until they had to unbutton their pants and learn to appreciate others that don’t have the same traditions.
Between Christmas and New Year‘s Eve, Max kept very busy. Between playdates and Sports Camp and basketball practices, there was rarely a dull moment. Tallulah, on the other hand, spent a lot of time with me (followed by her Aunt and Grandma). Her friends were traveling, the family she is a mother’s helper for was away and it ended up being a great opportunity to make our oil-and-water relationship simmer for the time being.
New Year’s Eve was spent with a dear set of friends. With the children, we all went out to eat at our g0-to restaurant at 5 for the non-existant early bird specials. By 7:30 the restaurant was packed and thankfully we were on our way back to their place. Strategically, and thankfully, our friends live at the end of our street so aside it being comfortable, it was easy! 9 o’clock passed and we forgot to ring in the East Coast New Year’s, but had the kids do it shortly after. We were home by 10 and Max and I were asleep by 10:30. Tallulah and Hubs rang in the New Year together downstairs, quietly. It took all of Tallulah’s might to stay up until our real New Year’s, but she succeeded and made it. By 12:06 a.m., she was down for the count.
Interspersed with days full of movies and games, we ventured to the Science Center in Downtown Los Angeles one day to visit the Endeavour, which had recently arrived. Both Max and Tallulah really enjoyed it, as did I. If you every have the chance to see it, it’s incredibly interesting. I’m not sure the next time I’ll be able to touch the parts of a real space shuttle, so we spent plenty of time and took advantage of all there was to see and learn.
The Science Center was also featuring the remaining days of their Cleopatra exhibit which I didn’t think I had any interest in seeing. However, being that we had been invited to go with a friend and her family, I quickly changed my mind. My girlfriend and her daughter, along with Tallulah and myself made our way through the exhibit while her husband, son and Max played in other parts of the museum. My girlfriend is an Honors Science teacher, so anything she recommends is worthwhile, and this was no different.
I don’t remember ever studying Cleopatra in school, so the history lesson was really interesting. Both her biography and the pertinent information of that time of history really caught my attention – and Tallulah’s too. I’ve even just started reading, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, by Margaret George.
Sadly, vacation has come to a close. Tallulah’s big finale has been a weekend away with her youth group, which is a post for another time. Max’s big finale caps off with his first official basketball game of the season. I think we have winners on both counts.