Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Cheer -- Holed Up in a Texas Hotel Room

I've brought my kids on tour again. 'Tis the season. My writerly travels have landed us in the Houston suburbs for two weeks -- in a hotel room. Six of us. My saintly husband and our four kids (aged 13, 11, 8 and almost two). And my my they do love us here. We eat all the free lobby cookies, busted the phone, play nurf gun wars in the halls, leave our door propped open, read with our feet kicked up in the dining area, drink the coffee when that area is clearly closed down, take our calls in the halls (with all the noise, who can hear in the room?), give haircuts in the bathroom, use the lobby copier to print out kid art, pet the fake robotic deer in the lobby display, not to mention the baby screaming (often with joy over the robotic deer) and the live Christmas tree in our room (you gotta have some holiday cheer!) that's now shedding needles ... The staff has got to prefer frat boys.

When we come up to the front desk (the kids stealing lollipops while I ask for kids eat free nights around town), the concierge asks, "So, how long are you all staying here again?"

"A whole nother week!" one of my kids shouts.

(For a look at a FANTASTIC ranch that we visited this past weekend -- alongside photos by brilliant photographer Karen Walrond -- click here! Texas has some pretty spots.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

'Tis Almost the Season

Okay, I was reading my kids' gift lists -- which are typed and organized via iPod Touch by my oldest daughter, who generally orchestrates our lives.

On my 11-year-old son's list, there is this gem: Lobster (not to eat)
This means, I take it, that the boy wants a pet lobster in a tank. Is there another way to read this?

I just imagine the lobster and me -- our conflicted relationship. How he'd sense the fact that I'd want to eat him. How I'd walk by and give him the old chin-up nod, the finger-point gesture of, "I got my eye on you." How he'd chin-up nod back and do his own claw-point of "NO, NO, I got MY eye on YOU."

It would be a household tension that I just don't think we could handle.