One of the character traits I especially value is the quality of honesty. So, I’m going to tell you the truth: my blog posting deadline crept up on me. Truly it did. After five straight weeks of illness at our house, followed by a restful week of vacation (Thank You Lord!), I’m back in the saddle at work again. Then it hit me: “Great Scot! I have a blog posting due!” So, rather than faking it, in the Christmas Spirit I’m going to share with you the contents of an old Hubach Christmas letter which I think you’ll enjoy.
Mind you, we don’t send out a Christmas letter every year. In fact, one time, I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen for about five years. While conversing together, I could tell that she was disappointed that she hadn’t heard from our family in quite awhile—not even through Christmas cards. At that point, I sheepishly told her my Christmas card philosophy: “I really don’t like the pressure of feeling like I have to get them out every year. So, I usually wait till I figure I’m just at the point when we’re about to get crossed off of the mailing lists of our friends who send us cards. And then I send one.” Never missing a beat she replied, “You’re there.” Gulp. Well, that inspired me to write this particular letter covering a span of seven years. (Yep! Count ’em! Don’t you feel better now about how many years you’ve skipped?)
So, without further ado, for your entertainment and enjoyment I’ve included our traditional “let-the-boys-speak-for-themselves” excerpts below. ( Note: For those of you who don’t know the “Hubach Family Tree”—my husband is named Fred, our oldest son is also named Fred (and went by Freddy when he was younger), and our youngest, Tim, is our son who has Down syndrome.)
- Timmy (7) went to see his cardiologist at Hershey Medical Center earlier this week. This morning, Timmy was sitting in bed with Fred and me. Fred questioned him about his appointment asking, “So, what did the doctor say?” Without missing a beat Tim seriously replied, “Hold still!”
- This morning at breakfast, Freddy (10) told us that at the turn of the century the average lifespan was 47 years old. Smiling I said, “That means the Daddy would have been a very old man!” Freddy responded, “Then I guess that would make Poppa (Freddy’s grandfather) historic!”
- Freddy (11) and I went on a bus trip to Philadelphia with a local Lutheran senior citizen’s group. This group LOVED having him along! At lunch, with a twinkle in his eye, he said something to one fellow—and when I turned and looked at him questioningly, Freddy replied, “You don’t know my darker side. You know my ying, but not my yang!”
- It’s a “Wichita Week” which means we’re without Fred this week because he’s traveled out to their manufacturing plant. At least it helps Timmy (10) with his geography. He definitely knows about Kansas! But he’s a little worried about Pennsylvania. Yesterday he got all upset in school because his class watched a promotional video about Pennsylvania. In the video they said, “We’re toasting Pennsylvania!” You know. In a celebratory kind of way. But that’s not how Tim took it. He was convinced that someone was about to burn the state of PA off the map—and was none too happy about it! Nothing his aide said would change his perceptions. He told me about it at home and I responded with, “Oh! No, no, no! It’s not like that—it’s like in the movie Sleeping Beauty where the two guys are singing ‘Scomps! Scomps! Scomps!’” Well, the lights went on in his mind—he heaved a sigh of relief—and happily went off to school the next morning.
- This summer we were on vacation in Maine. Fred’s parents just built a new cabin up there. Someone sent them one of those talking/singing fish mounted on a plaque. Timmy (10) enjoyed listening to its funny remarks. One afternoon, he was out sitting on the dock with Fred’s mom. While they were eating lunch, Tim burped. He immediately looked up at his grandmother and quipped, “Oops! I must have eaten a bad worm!”
- Freddy (13), Fred and I were having a conversation about NASCAR racing. Freddy and I were trying to convince Fred that not only was the concept of driving in circles boring and pointless, but it hardly qualifies as a sport. Finally Freddy put in his last argument: “All it takes to drive NASCAR is two hands, two feet, a helmet and a GOOD life insurance policy!”
- Timmy’s (12) class has been studying mammals in science. The other day, he came home and asked if he could take Ellie (our Bernese Mountain Dog) to school with him for a science demonstration. When I started to balk at this request, he blurted out in exasperation: “But Mom! She’s a VERTEBRATE!!”
- Freddy (14) was watching Revenge of the Nerds on TV the other night. He looked at me and said, “I don’t prefer the term nerds. I prefer the term ‘intellectually superior social outcasts.'”
- Timmy (13) was looking around the freezer for some ice cream for dessert. Upon discovering a box of ice cream sandwiches in the back of the compartment, I said to him, “Oh, you don’t want to eat those. They’re old!” To which he quickly replied, “They’re not old. They’re new from a long time ago!”
- Timmy (14) got himself into a pickle last night by not listening to his parents. After he had calmed down and accepted his time out, he came into the living room and asked me, “When you and Dad are 20 or 30 (read: “older”) and I’m still a kid…if you’re still having problems with me, could you call Dr. Pill?” (AKA Dr. Phil) Talk about the power of comic relief!
- For Freddy’s 16th birthday party he requested Pecan Pie instead of cake. The one pie turned out great, but the other one…well, it was all lopsided! Freddy was eating some of the leftovers the other day and I said to him, “You know, that Pecan Pie is pretty ugly!” He looked back at me and replied, “Oh, I don’t think it’s ugly. You just have to know what it is to understand its true beauty!”
And this one—just in time for Christmas:
- Tim (14) had the day off of school so I took him Christmas shopping today. Yesterday, we were talking about our shopping plans in the car on the way home from church. Fred turned to Tim and said, “Remember to look for good ideas for Mom when you’re out, and I’ll take you shopping for her when I get back from my business trip to Poland. So when you’re in WalMart…” Before the words “WalMart” were out of Fred’s mouth, Tim turned around and looked at him and said, “How about Zales?” He is a marketer’s (and a mother’s) dream!
May the joy of laughter fill your home this Christmas season. We can laugh, even in the face of life’s challenges, because Jesus is our Emmanuel—God WITH us. His presence is real. His joy is genuine. And that’s the truth.
Merry Christmas my friends!
“A joyful heart is good medicine. But a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
In His Name,
Stephanie O. Hubach