Driving out of my dad’s gated community in Houston. I’ve got the kids strapped up in the back with these new portable safety vests. It basically hangs them from the back tether hook like the thing my dad used to secure the turkey before plunging it into 16 gallons of scalding peanut oil for our Thanksgiving feast. It’s all a distant memory now. Last night, after the dust from Black Friday settled in a pile of half-priced jeans and two for one waffle makers, I took Thing 1 and Thing 2 for a barefoot walk in the balmy Texas night. Everybody had their lights up already, trying to get the early jump the neighborhood association decoration competition. The kids were perplexed. Thing 2 still believes in Santa and his eight foot animatronic clone created a disconnect for her. I told her it was monument to him, like the status of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the Natural History Museum. She wanted to know where the horse was.
Back in New York and we’re out enjoying our weekend skate around the neighborhood. They’re on Razors, I’m on a proper skateboard. The three of us are a bonafide menace to the neighborhood. As we tear through the green market, an old woman with a walker sees her long life flash before her as Thing 1 demonstrates her flamingo torpedo move past the amish turkey sausage vendor. This involves pointing one leg out straight while assuming a horizontal pike position. She then slides out in a bed of flagrant lose pine needles in the urban Christmas tree forest. She cries a little but is quickly mesmerized by the one stop shop for everything Yule Tide. We get off our rides and start scheming for how we can get mom to go for a big one. She’s from Australia and down there the puddings are bigger than the Christmas trees. We decide the whole deal can be done with jewelry.