Christmas came and went. We were incomplete, without Tessa and Steve. Things simply did not work out, which was a shame. We may have come to the end of our traditional Christerklaas. The poems will stay, but not the frantic preparations on Christmas Eve and reading poems and hunting for gifts into the early morning hours. With Faro four, and for the first time understanding what happens at Christmas, the experience will be different from now on.

I still would prefer to be out of the country for the entire month of December, and maybe next year will insist on it, going off to some place, if such exist, that isn’t contaminated by the obsessive buying and gifting, especially for people who already have everything.

Maybe our best Christmas gift, which we gave ourselves, was to offer Faro a week with his grandparents at Lobster Cove so that his mom and dad could take care of a long list of work related to-do’s. They remembered that having one child is a hobby but two is a job. So we offered to take Faro. I ordered a bunch of museum passes from the library and drew up a schedule: Monday was zoo day; Tuesday was Museum of Science day, Wednesday was for the Aquarium, Thursday a trip to the Peabody and Essex Museum and Friday with grammy in Beverly before heading home. We also got two movies from the library: the BFG (Dahl/Spielberg) and the remake of the original Dumbo. Both were good fun for ages between 4 and 70.

On Monday we discovered that most zoo animals don’t like winter. Many of the cages were empty with signs that said ‘seasonal.’ The Stoneham Zoo was a sad affair with only a few animals that could stand the cold: a brown bear, a flock of chattering flamingoes, and animals that were asleep somewhere and invisible). We were done in about 45 minutes. We continued to downtown Boston for a hot chocolate and then on to the Franklin Zoo which had a few more animals, including a family of Gorillas living in a tent – I felt sorry for them, they looked so very bored. But there was a nice playground which was probably the highlight, plus a cow being weighed (1660 pounds), chicklets and a duck hospital.

We had a hotdog lunch (“my parents let me eat meat now!”) and then headed home. On Tuesday we visited the Science Museum together with all the children of Boston. Faro pushed every button, turned every wheel and had an average attention span of about 20 seconds. I would have liked to go there myself; there are some great exhibits for adults. On Wednesday we packed everything up for another trip into Boston where we met Sita at the Aquarium – another place where all the children of Boston had converged.

Faro was given the choice to return home with mom or with us; he choose us, probably because with us he had more chocolate and more movies than at home, and at night he had the bathtub to himself rather than having to share with his little sister.

Friday night I drove Faro back to Easthampton, leaving Axel with a persistent streptococcus infection in bed – which is also where he will transition from 2016 to 2017 tonight.

2 Responses to “Opa-Oma-vacation-fun”

  1. 1 Joke Rinsma January 1, 2017 at 3:52 am

    happy New Year, SYLVIA and family

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December 2016
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