There went another Xmas, and with it another year. I had a great holiday with you, and we got to have plenty of fun together. You were off from school for 2 weeks and I was off almost the whole time with you, one of the benefits of being a civil servant with plenty of unused vacation days.
We had Xmas completely at home this year, so we hosted dinner Xmas night with your Mom's family, all of mine living very far away from here. But your Grandpa (my Dad) and his wife came to stay with us Boxing Day, so you got to do the whole thing all over again in spite of distance, but this time without a turkey, a roast and way too much of everything else. And as we had kind of anticipated, it did end up being a bit overwhelming for you, but not so much that you couldn't cope. Your Mom and I went overboard a bit with the presents (also as expected), and your Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles did their parts as well. But the bottom line is that you are such a well behaved, well rounded kid, that in spite of a haul that would have spoiled most kids for good, you just kept right on being the grounded kid I know and love.
Over the holiday break, we managed to do a few fun things other than opening presents. We took you tobogganing to a big hill in a nearby city, one that I used to go to with my own parents when I was your age. Which was a very long time ago, when you get down to it, it being over 25 years since I'd set foot on that hill. But the hill was still there, and still as much fun as I remembered it. And I was pretty impressed with how brave you were to be honest. Your Mom wanted you to go down the part with the gentlest slope, and was milling about radiating low level anxiety the whole time, but you weren't having any of that. I had to talk you out of going down the steepest part solo, and after only one trip down with the two of us, you were ready to try it on your own.
We also tried our hands (or feet, as it were) at skating again. And the pair we got you last year during your rookie season have gotten a bit too snug, so we'll have to fix that. But you are more confident than ever with that particular activity, and I expect that you've picked up an interest that will last you a long time. We actually did this a few times, first at our local outdoor rink, and then at a New Year's Eve thing put on in town, at an indoor arena. You were on the ice with hundreds of other people, and you didn't even blink. The only interesting thing that did concern you was stepping on the 'writing' embedded in the ice. Whenever we came up to any of the advertising layered into the ice surface, you tried to steer away from it, causing us and a few hapless people behind us to have minor accidents. But it was all in good fun, and no one got hurt.
And since we seem to be on a bit of a run with the winter outdoor activities, I had the pleasure of taking you downhill skiing for the first time. I have been waiting for years to be able to do this with you, and I owned this one as something that I should do you with you as a Daddy-Daughter thing, what with it being an old hobby of mine. We spent an afternoon at the local ski hill, most of it on the beginner's run, but one noteworthy trip down a much bigger run. I don't know that I am the world's greatest teacher, but you made it easy on me by listening and trying your best. You were snow-plowing with the best of them, and even though you were tired out by the end of the afternoon, you were a great sport about it.
As far as indoor activities went over the holiday break, you did a lot of two things: colouring, and playing with your new PS3 game, Start the Party. You can seriously spend hours just concentrating on colouring with your markers and crayons in colouring books. Maybe there's an artist in you waiting to show herself. The video game is fun, as we got you the full version of a demo that we've had and been playing for months. So you and I have been battling it out, and I love seeing you interact with something that you can just pick up and do, without worrying about how a controller works. Occasionally your Mom joins us, though video games are certainly not something she would otherwise choose to devote her time to if not for you asking.
What else? Well, you did end up singing at the school pageant. Not only did you sing, but you grabbed the mic and sang with authority. It was really something to behold. You were bold, and loud, and completely unfazed by the few hundred parents and others watching. We might have seen the beginnings of an interest in the dramatic arts there as well.
I also wanted to keep track of a few particularly interesting questions you threw at me this past month. On one occasion, you asked me 'Do girls go to college?', to which you refused to believe me when I told you they did. I think some part of me working and your Mom staying home all of your life so far might be giving you a bit of a skewed slant on the world. That slant might have a bit of a 19th century vibe to it if the college question is any example. But that will go away once you really understand that not only can girls do anything boys can do (I need to get you that on a t shirt), but they can kick most boy's butts at most of those things. I am not so loyal to my gender that I won't admit to that sort of thing.
Another good one was 'Can you and I go to see a real Green Bay game together?', which I loved you asking. You have been taking to sitting in on football games with me, and you've heard me talking about going to a Green Bay game this fall, and I was very excited to hear that you were interested in going to one with me. I think we can make that one happen.
Looking forward to doing some of the fun winter activities that I've mentioned with you again soon. Hopefully it keeps us from getting bored during the winter deep freeze. But with you, one thing I never am, is bored.
Its a New Year, and I always get a bit contemplative and sentimental when the calendar rolls over. I don't know what we have in store for us in 2011, but whatever happens, just know (retroactively, I suppose) that I will always be your Daddy, and whatever challenges are ahead of us, we will tackle them together.