2008 Year in Review: Memorable Events

This is the last 2008 year in review post, I promise.  Each year since 1996, I’ve made a list of the twenty most memorable events in my life of  the year just past.  The events may be good or bad,  silly or sad, life-changing or mundane, but mostly just memorable.  The most memorable aspect of 2008 was watching my son grow with all the landmark events of childhood: sitting up, solid foods, crawling, walking, running, playing on swings, wrestling Dad, and speaking a few select words.  There’s also his frequent spitting up – although he was a “happy spitter” according to the gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital – and his first fever when we had to sing the magic “Shark” song over and over to keep him calm.  Peter’s involved in pretty much every event listed below, as well  he should be.

In rough chronological order, here are the twenty memorable events of 2008:

  1. The Christmas concert/children’s pageant at church, postponed by snow to Epiphany, in which my son Peter starred as the little baby asleep in the hay.  Since there was also a boy playing Joseph, I guess that made me God.
  2. Peter’s Baptism – a week later we took Peter back to church and had him immersed and welcomed into the community.  That was followed by a lovely dinner with Peter’s grandparents and godmother.
  3. Time for Dads – my Christmas gift from my wife was a new dad’s class at Isis maternity where Peter & I got to hang out with other babies and their dads.
  4. Sciatica – late January to April were marred by intense, radiating pain down my leg which made it near impossible to walk or sit up.  I missed a lot of days of work and a trip to Washington for our friends’ wedding.  Also got very irritated with some medical professionals who were slow to respond to my calls.
  5. Martin Sheen wipes a booger off Peter’s nose – after receiving the Isaac Hecker Award at our church, the actor/social justice activist very kindly looked after my son’s runny nose and asked Peter for his blessing.
  6. Boston By Foot – I’ve been a volunteer guide for this organization for many years with lots of ups and downs, but this year I got much more involved, got to know many of the other guides, and really had a lot of fun.
  7. Mass on Boston Common – To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Paulist Fathers, there was a Mass on Boston Common in which I was fortunate enough to be called on to proclaim the word as a lector from the Parkman Bandstand.  After the Mass, a swing band took over and we all boogied down.
  8. Jury Duty – I was called in June and served on a short civil case.  Although I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the trial, I did enjoy the process as well as getting to know the other jurors and the cheerful court officer.  I particularly enjoyed the wisecracking juror who wore a newsboy hat.
  9. Music Together – My Father’s Day gift from my wife were these wonderful family music, rhythm and movement classes.  We took a session in the summer and again in the fall.  Among other things, I learned that I was good at impersonating a sleepy kangaroo and that the drums are way cooler than the triangle.
  10. Visits from Trucle – Our friend Trucle not only visited us on several business trips from Brooklyn but she also cooked the most delicious meals in our kitchen. Yum!
  11. New job – In July I transferred to a new job at my library on the Information Lifecycle Management team, working on records management and metadata & taxonomy (among other things).
  12. Old Orchard Beach – We took the Downeaster train to Maine for a long, relaxing weekend in this coastal Maine town.
  13. High school reunion –  I finally found a good use for Facebook and it is finding old friends from high school that I lost contact long ago.  Thus far 2/3’s of the class have joined our Facebook group and it’s great to see how everyone is doing.
  14. Death in the family – My stepfather Wayne died in late August.  We traveled to Virginia in September to go to the memorial service and spend time with my mother.  On a brighter note, Peter took his first steps while at Wayne’s parents’ house and he also got to meet his cousin for the first time.
  15. Commuting with Peter – In September, Peter started attending the child care center adjacent to my workplace and thus riding the rails on the T with Dada each day.  The loss of time to read is made up by seeing all the commuters charmed by Peter smiling and waving each day.
  16. Dad alone – Susan left for a business trip making me a single parent for five whole days.  Things went well though as Peter & I went on walking tours, attended a festival, had a play date at the playground, and ate at a potluck.
  17. Long Beach Island – We spent a whole week in October at a lovely beach house in New Jersey with my mother.  En route, our car broke down in Connecticut, but we were aided by a lovely gentleman from Waterbury.  Peter had a great time at Firestone while the car was repaired.
  18. Peter’s 1st Birthday – Celebrated with other babies and parents from Susan’s new mom’s group at Gymboree.  Peter loved climbing on everything and eating his first cupcake.
  19. Thanksgiving – Our friends Joe & Rene invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner and the company of their charming family.  The day after was spent with other parents and babies at the Franklin Park Zoo.
  20. Holiday travels – An extended vacation in Virginia and North Carolina to visit all of Peter’s grandparents, my sister’s family, and some old friends.  Not too mention cats, dogs, alpacas, birds, deer and a singing pickle.

Previously –  2007 Year in Review: Memorable Events

Meme: 2008 End-of-Year

Via Caveat Lector, some questions to reflect on the year recently passed

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I rode the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Trolley.  Woke up to the sound of a yodeling pickle.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t remember making any so I probably didn’t keep them.  I haven’t made any this year.  I think I’ll work on things as they come along instead.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two of my dearest friends adopted a baby girl who was born in December.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My stepfather Wayne died in August

5. What countries did you visit?

Seven of the United States: Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, & North Carolina.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 which you lacked in 2008?

A tidy house.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched in your memory, and why?

April 24 – the day I received the treatment that stopped my sciatica pain.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I discovered I’m actually a pretty good dad.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Didn’t do very well at household chores, financial management, nor keeping in touch with friends & family.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Dear me, yes!  January through April were marred by the crippling pain of sciatica.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

In light of the previous question, probably the copay on a Vicodin prescription.  In reality, the adorable pirate costume for Peter’s Halloween.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My son and wife.  Also, people like Trucle and Joe who cooked meals for us.  And all the people who helped out when I was injured.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The staff at the Somerville office of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Child care and mortgage on the house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Anything Peter-related.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

“White Winter Hymnal,” by Fleet Foxes.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?

Happier.  Slightly thinner.  Poor in money, but wealthy in love.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Traveling, biking, spending time with good friends, household chores, volunteering, writing,  contemplative time alone, and prayer.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Writhing in pain, vomiting, and feeling exhausted.

20. How will you be spending New Year’s?

Playing dominoes with my wife and her parents.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Tad from Leapfrog and the doctor’s office.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?

My son was born near the end of 2007, but I’ve discovered new and deeper love for him in his first full year.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?

I don’t roll like that.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, and Bob the Builder.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I’m a lover not a hater.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?

Favorite Books of 2008.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, and WFMU’s Antique Phonograph Music Program

28. What did you want and get?

A new job.

29. What did you want and not get?

A trip to Washington for our friends’ wedding, a night out with my wife, and the Christmas Revels.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I enjoyed watching New York: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn?

I celebrated my 35th birthday by going to work and then having dinner and cake with my family.  A few days earlier had a lovely dinner with a number of good friends at the Dogwood Cafe.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

New York Mets, World Series Champions.  Or an express subway line from Jamaica Plain to Allston.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?


34. What kept you sane?

The usual: family, reading, getting out of the house.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Gwen Ifill.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

2nd Suffolk district Senate race.

37. Whom did you miss?

All the friends we were supposed to see on our April trip to Washington that we had to cancel.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve met lots of wonderful babies via  Peter, plus all of his child care teachers are great people.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

The drums are much cooler than the triangle.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“Baby shark, baby shark, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.”