A Seat on Santa’s Lap

The Christmas season has officially begun for the Farias brothers. 

After a windy, drizzly tree-tagging event (that Don had to bring to its logical conclusion on his own as his brood gave into the elements and took shelter in the toasty car), we headed to the mall to see our pal Santa.  There was little hope of getting all three boys in the same photo–a feat I am quickly discovering is generally next to impossible.  But as I look at these three separate shots, I can’t help but see the significance in their each having their own. This is August’s first Christmas–and thus should have his own moment on the lap.  Edgar–sporting Oscar’s Christmas sweater from last year (not even his own)–should be given as many moments in the spotlight as possible lest he give in to the much-maligned Jan Brady middle child complex.  And Oscar at the ripe old age of five may be sitting on Santa’s lap for the last time–until he is an ironic teenager that is.

So, I present Oscar, Edgar, and August with Santa–one at a time and each in his own way.  Happy Holidays!


Home for Thanksgiving

Tonight was our first effort at hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  We have joked over our twenty-three years together that all that has ever been required of us is “showing up with our forks”–literally.  Friends and family members have always hosted, and we have been fortunate enough to have been included.

But having children, as the saying goes, changes everything. 

Don and I are endeavoring to create a home that will house  more than just our possessions but the memories of our life together, and hosting holidays here is one path toward that goal.  We want this to be the home our children want to bring their friends to, and, later, return to with their significant others and families.  We want this to be the same anchor Don’s home was for him. 

So, we rolled up our sleeves this Thanksgiving and dove in–and it was beautiful.  Oscar and Edgar, fresh from their studies of the Pilgrims, created the Mayflower in their play room–complete with a sail, “water,” backdrops, and costumes.  We brought in their picnic table from outside, which served as the “kids’ table” and allowed the kids to be kids.  They dressed it with their own tablecloth and ate off special orange plastic plates.  We lounged around in the morning, caught Santa at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and waited eagerly for our friends and family to join us.

Our house smelled like Thanksgiving, and it felt like Thanksgiving.  And that is something we will look forward to for as many years as we are privileged to host.  There will come a day when our children will have their own families and will be ready to pick up the torch, and once again we’ll be able to show up with our forks.  But until that time, we will make it happen here–for them, for us, and for those we love.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Please click on the link below if you would like to see the complete album:


Templeton at Fifteen

Dear Templeton,

Today you turn fifteen; and for a beagle, that is an accomplishment.  You were a Christmas gift from me to Don, born November 24, 1994, due to come home in January 1995–right on the heels of our wedding, our first Christmas as a married couple .  I still remember the day we landed in Templeton, Massachusetts, at your breeder’s home.  When Don picked you from all the other puppies, she remarked with a twinkle, “He goes for the looks, doesn’t he?”  You were–and still are–a looker, keeping your puppy face despite your advanced age.

The last couple years have not been kind to you in terms of your health, and that has changed the way we are all able to  interact with you.  And though we joke that the vet has deemed you perfectly healthy despite your myriad issues, we have to acknowledge how tough this has been. 

People remark on quality of life–and there is an argument there and a strong one at that.  But right now we feel we can’t make that call.  You wake up every day for your meal and eat it with gusto, and you respond to attention in a way that makes us feel we owe you whatever time you choose to spend with us. 

The hour-long walks are a thing of the past, and moving freely throughout the house is no longer possible.  But know that you are loved.  We will watch you and listen to you with our heads and our hearts for anything you want to communicate, and we promise to honor you.

But today is your birthday . . . and we will celebrate tonight as we always do–with the biggest tomato we can find and a candle.  Happy Birthday, Templeton!  You have provided us with a lifetime of memories.

Love, Your Family

My Brother the Muse

It seems as though for the last five days or so Oscar has been drawing and writing nonstop.  His white board, Expo markers, and index cards come with us everywhere we go; and if he has a chance to sit for five minutes, he is coloring, lettering, or creating–finding inspiration in everyone and everything. 

But there is no muse quite like a sibling–especially a sibling covered in pureed prunes! 

Keep observing, Oscar–and drawing.  Your creativity and your creations are a gift–and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Must Be Love


Just in case there was ever any question regarding the depth of Auntie Christina’s love for the boys, let Exhibits A and B dispel any lingering doubt.  There are not many people who would allow Oscar and Edgar to make them up with leftover Halloween makeup–a less than subtle palette of color designed to transform even the cutest child into your choice of vampire, witch, or werewolf. 

The cleanup was (and remains days later) pretty intense.  But this is one of those moments that we’ll all look back on and remember with laughter.


Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Though August has started solid foods and is NEVER looking back, we did make it clear to him that he would not be able to partake in turkey at this year’s Thanksgiving feast.  (And since Don and I are hosting–and I guess that means “cooking”–for the first time, this may not be a bad thing.)

So, August, like all good third children, does what he does: makes the best of things. 


Don’t get too attached to that turkey, August.  That may very well be what we wind up serving!  Stay tuned!