By: John Jericiau
As a young adult I couldn’t imagine that one day I too would be writing the dreaded “holiday letter” to mass produce and include with each holiday card (which has become a mass produced holiday photo), but when you have a family it seems so natural. How else can you describe easily the highlights of your family’s year to your friends and family (almost an end-of-year Facebook summary page)? This is especially true when there are kids involved, because it would terrible if Aunt Christine didn’t know about Devin’s affinity for languages or Dylan’s attempt at tennis next year. So the following is what I’m including this year. Feel free to play holiday music in the background as you read it. It will help you get through it.
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! 2012 is almost here and we didn’t get to see enough of our friends and family, we didn’t get to have enough house parties, and we didn’t do some needed renovations of our beach house and yard! With the “didn’t do’s” out of the way let’s focus on the positive, the happiness, the things that brought us joy!
Of course at the top of that list are our boys! What miracles they are! Not a day goes by where they don’t WOW us with something they do or say or feel or learn or try. Not a moment goes by without us worrying about their world’s unique circumstances, wondering how we can protect them and guide them through the life that is ahead of them. All we can do is provide immense love and help them become strong, confident, and loving individuals. As far as we can see, they are well on their way.
Devin is halfway through his final year of preschool, and he loves being a student. His teacher relays the fact that he has some kind of photographic memory, because he can quickly memorize poems to recite in class, and has no qualms about volunteering to do so. His classmates seem to really enjoy his company, especially a few of the girls who can’t seem to resist touching his hair or holding his hand.
He has completely mastered Armenian, and Daddy has to ask Devin to translate when he hears Papa speak an Armenian phrase that Daddy wasn’t necessarily supposed to know the meaning. He can switch from Armenian to English and back in midsentence depending on which of us he is talking to. In part due to his prowess in the languages, we recently toured and applied for a lottery acceptance into the local kindergarten dual immersion program (Spanish/English) starting Fall 2012. We will see what happens.
Dylan is halfway through his first year of preschool, and has focused mainly on interpersonal skills with a select few girls in the class. While he seems to get along with most everybody, the topic of evening and weekend conversation is mostly focused on what his girl friends like and do and think. Totally adorable! He also surprises us with his wit, his charm, and his brains!
With a penchant for most types of rice, it has been difficult to get Dylan to experiment with other foods, although that seems to be changing as he approaches his 4th birthday in January. He also is on the cusp of dropping diapers, which is awesome. Dylan enjoys his nightly books and bath, his backyard (as long as he has access to a water supply) and, like Devin, almost any type of physical activity.
Both boys have really improved their swimming, having spent lots of the time in the pool this year as well as completed their first round of swimming lessons. They played soccer most Saturday mornings this year, but they are expressing a desire to try karate and tennis next. So be it!
Alen continues to wow us all with his recent accomplishments in the medical arena. He was just promoted to Regional Medical Director of his national hospice company, which will take him on trips to oversee the hospice programs on the west coast. He’ll start January 1st. That was after they flew our family to Vegas for a company award to recognize his achievements in his field. We were so proud! He also continues his weekly stint at a local hospital, and was just granted a new contract for the coming year. He has his sights set on a faculty position (since it’s a teaching hospital) with some grants for research there.
We have passed year 5 of the wellness center we own (Alen is the Medical Director), and thanks to the great managerial job by his brother, both Alen and I have been able to play more of a back seat role in the company, which frees up some of our time.
This year Alen also continued his fellowship in a prestigious health care leadership program (it’s through Sept 2012). Also he was just selected to participate as a member of an Innovation Advisors Program newly developed by Medicare … first meeting is in Washington DC in January! He also managed to continue his film-making studies with a Saturday film class this year. No word from him yet if he will fit that into the 2012 schedule … I’m almost afraid to ask!
We both continue our “maintenance” exercise routine with Master’s swimming (we alternate mornings), P90X (Alen), running (John), and stationary cycling (both). John had a brief attempt to return to the gym for some much needed muscle rebuilding but got tired of the 15 minute drive.
John has also continued to perform his supportive duties such as child rearing, house cleaning, chauffeuring, family event planning, and cooking, all which he does only moderately well. He is also writing a weekly blog which he thoroughly enjoys. Alen just threw a surprise 50th birthday party for John, who is surprised to be 50. John finds his waistline increasing and his hairline receding, his reading vision disappearing and his race times slowing, but he has never been happier.
We wish you much love and happiness in the coming year!