Sparky and I started 2013 by downsizing the fifteen seater van. We got a sharp little seven seater, Sparky chose all the options because I don’t really care all that much, except for the heated seats. I don’t use the electronic stuff in the van, and I don’t look at what’s under the hood. However, desiring my input and commitment to the new car, he felt strongly that I should choose the colour. I chose gold, because it doesn’t clash with the house. I was unaware that 80% of all vehicles on the road are gold minivans. When I click the remote unlock button, the headlights flash and I can walk to the vehicle pretending that I know which van is mine. If it’s daylight, and I can’t discern the flash, I can also remotely open the hatch, so I can peer discreetly around looking for an opening hatch and pray that no one happens to be walking by and gets whacked in the head with my hatch door. Long story short, if you don’t want to lose your van in the parking lot of a shopping mall, buy a fifteen seater white budget rent-a-van.
We had this crazy idea long about March. Hey, while we still have to get two hotel rooms for travel, let’s go to Italy! Time is running out for travelling expensively! Before The Professor moves out…let’s GO. So, with the youngest four, here is how it all went down.
Went to Italy.
Saw a lot of statues, art, churches and relics.
Were totally blown away.
Walked a lot. Ate a lot of pasta and gelato.
Drank great coffee.
Met amazing people.
Flew to Ottawa.
Saw Scout graduate from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy.
Brought home The Gang, and even One Extra.
Lived to tell about it.
So Alice is Established. She has an adorable apartment in downtown Duncan. She owns dishes and kitchen utensils and even has window coverings. Who knew? She is revelling in being a grown up, and is even considering owning a cat. Try to avoid thinking “cat lady.” As always she is creating and making things with her hands and her head, and is the Creative Wonder of the family. She actualized her dream of purple hair this year. No stopping her now.
Scout is finished her three years at OLSWA. So she decided to walk across the country (I’m actually not kidding) on Crossroads, a pro-life walk from Vancouver to Ottawa with a few side trips to cities of a flat nature in between. Three or so months walking across the country ended up in winning the heart of one Biff. They are one of the two most adorable couples in the world. Just blocks away from where the aforementioned Biff was going to school she found a place to live! Of all the luck. Scout smiles a lot, works at a baby store and will, sadly, NOT be home for Christmas. Biff’s family gets to be the lucky ones this year. We love you, honey.
Polly has acquired the One Extra. He is her boy, her ‘Cesco, her effervescent accomplice and he brings out all the best in her. He has moved out to B.C. The weather and other things really appealed to ‘Cesco. They, you might have guessed, are the other of the two most adorable couples in the world. Polly is studying interior design at Pacific Design Academy in Victoria this year, enjoying the program, the beautiful city and all life has to offer.
The Professor is almost wrapped up his schooling, and throwing himself into life with his usual vigour. He’s studying for his SAT, his beloved maths and sciences, french; he uses his spare time up on teaching himself programming and savoire-faire. The only family member to beat in height now is Dad, and he is starting to look like he’s going to do just that.
Silas is not like The Professor at all. Except, perhaps, on the soccer field, where his quiet and unassuming manner is so deceptive. A born gentleman, Silas is loved by everyone for his consideration and his servant’s heart. He has all the artistic fervour of some older siblings, singing, piano and sketching.
Huck is exactly like me. Only he eats more. And he’s tall and gangly. There are almost no limits to his capacity to socialize, he makes friends easily and is never at a loss for a cynical retort, however out of place it might be for his place and stature. He is a snuggler supreme. He is an affectionate, deliriously happy soul. Most of the time.
The boys are ready to pounce on any activity that meanders into their radar. Hiking, hockey, soccer, sports and outdoor activities of any kind are on the boy to-do list. To fill in their idle hours they play road hockey in the driveway, play with the dog, shoot things with other things, create hazards in the fireplace, read voraciously and infuriate the womenfolk.
Well, Rosebud and I are the only womenfolk left in the house. We get to do all the girl stuff now. Have hour long baths, bake stuff, wear pretty things and be annoyed by the boys. Rosebud is quiet and contemplative, and when not playing for hour upon endless hour with her dear friend Buttercup, she draws about eighty pictures a day, writes, makes lists…she is rarely seen without a pencil in her hand. She loves math and science most of all. Rosebud made her First Holy Communion and Confirmation this year, her big sister Scout was her sponsor.
Sparky and I celebrated our fiftieth birthdays this past September. With the baby years behind us now, (HOW did we do that?) we look to more creative ways of having fun, besides sleepless nights and morning sickness. It’s difficult but we’re rising to the challenge. Turning fifty was awesome, we threw ourselves a big party. But now at the end of this year with so many incredible moments, I’ve tried to capture in my brain what this year has meant to us. Our grown children are scattering and beginning their adult lives. Our life is getting “less” in terms of how much people need us, but “more” in how love has grown. Our family is smaller, with less people in the house, but bigger with who our children are becoming and who they draw into our lives. Sparky and I have more time to spend together. With all the scattering and the addition of people, though, somehow our family mission, our family purpose, our family personality,
if you will, has remained intact. And I’ve realized this.
The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts. Love and blessings, the Landry family