Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas at the Clarks

caption: You two are like a couple of kids at Christmas. Literally.

A few observations while they are still fresh.

• Christmas is a beloved holiday for all age groups, but none takes it more seriously or joyously than the 5-8 year old set. This means the 2010 Clark Family Christmas is one for the books -- with family reunion in Skillman, N.J., still to come!

• Children ages 5 to 8 can't wait until Dec. 25th. It is best to let them open presents a little bit at a time, a discovery made by K. Warner Clark in the mid 1970s. Just as geothermal tremors help prevent massive earthquakes, so do the release of gifts prevent melt downs on Christmas day. It's 10:16 a.m. -- zero melt downs.

• Theodore was up at 6:50 a.m., opening his Beyblades presents. Did you get anything really cool, Theo? "Yeah, everything," he said. That made Daddy's day.

• Natalie was in the habit of wrapping little objects around the house. On Christmas morning, she made great sport of distributing them to their rightful owners. Daddy opened a miniature Empire State Building, that he bought in 1997, and also an Tagalog-English dictionary.

• Let us not forget the reason for the season! The children watched -- as a special Christmas Eve treat -- the Simpson's Christmas last night at 7 p.m. on Fox. I close with a quote from Bart: "Christmas is the time of year when people of all religions come together and worship Jesus Christ."

• Daddy and Mommy didn't even exchange gifts. What more could we want, really? "Best Christmas ever?" Daddy asked Mommy in the living room with wrapping paper strewn about. Her answer: "Best Christmas ever."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Keeping score at home

On a Saturday morning in the newly designed and furnished back room -- we call it "The Office" -- Natalie her mother and father are watching tenth-ranked Kentucky play North Carolina on the new flat screen Sony. Daddy is in heaven. What can be better than this? His favorite girls are watching a great game come down to the wire, and the picture is so clear that you can look into the bleachers and see who has their wallets in their front pockets.

Daddy notices little 5-year-old Natalie is writing in her notebook. Across the top in big letters, she wrote: "Basketball." Beneath that, she is tracking the score of the game! "65-63, 2 points. 65-65, tied. 65-67, 2 points."

Her stat sheet continues along those lines until Kentucky misses a desperation shot at the buzzer. "73-75, 2 points," she concludes, with a picture of a big basketball at the bottom. (The left margin appeared to be an aborted column intended to track 1-point leads. )

Earlier in the week, a language arts specialist from Metuchen Public Schools reported that Natalie is reading at a sixth grade level. We were proud of our little girl. But her statistical analysis of the UNC UK game took that pride to a new level.