Thursday, January 26, 2017


* A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016*

Matteo: You have had many obsessions hobbies since you were a little boy, including CDs, records, toy blenders, suitcases and washing machines.  When you fall in love with something, you commit yourself fully.  Every day becomes a mission in acquiring new pieces for your collection, or in finding as many ways to use them around the house as possible.  The newest trend to find its way into your case history of beloved objects is Hot Wheels.  These tiny, metal, colorful cars have taken over the house completely, as well as over your imagination and admiration.  Every question I ask you ends with "Hot Wheels."  Every trip to the grocery store ends with Hot Wheels.  Every pocket and bucket and bin are filled with Hot Wheels.  I find them in the laundry, in the pantry, in my bed, in the bathtub as I attempt to to take a bath.  I feel like Mrs. Hannigan in "Annie," except instead of "little girls," there are "little cars" everywhere I turn.  They are quickly multiplying.  You have cleverly managed to convince your sister that they are awesome so that you can manipulate your parents into buying one "for her," too: "What about Sissy?  She wants a Hot Wheel.  I think she would like this one."  So, now two Hot Wheels come home with us from the store.  Your collection is expanding, like a shiny chrome-plated army.  You also taught your sister how to "vroom vroom" them around the house.  It's pretty darn adorable to watch you two playing cars together.  When she's crying, you bring her a car and it usually makes her happy again.  When Mama was sick, you brought me some of your favorite cars to keep next to me in bed.  Hot Wheels are your love language right now, so Hot Wheels it will be.

Lilah: Your obsession passion this Christmas was ornaments.  You completely ignored the shiny, bow-covered boxes under the tree, and opted immediately for whichever ornaments haden't yet been moved to higher ground.  At Nana Toni and Papa Dean's house, you were particularly committed to the shiny, delicate, highly-breakable ornaments that covered the tree, calling to you from across the room.  You managed to find a way through every furniture barrier we constructed, no matter its complexity, immediately plucking ornaments from the low branches of the tree again.  You screeched like a pterodactyl whenever we tried to take them away.  There were a few ornament casualties.  Maybe next year we will be able decorate the lower half of our tree again.

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