The Poston family candle not only burns at both ends, this year the whole thing caught fire. Just thinking about 2013 is exhausting. We work hard to cram a lot of living into every day of the year. We made some memories worth noting in our search for perfect peace, hit some milestones on the journey of life, and chose to ignore a lot of nonsense going on in the world. Catching fire is fun.
In March, Jensen’s “grand surprise” came in the form of grandbaby, Walker Rye Richard. Jensen and Sarah are wonderful parents and we think grandparenthood is – like hyperbole – the best thing ever. As Gigi and Bully, we get all the good stuff. Walker FaceTimes with Richele so much that he seems confused when she appears in three dimensions. Billy even changed a diaper, raising his lifetime total into double digits. We are setting aside money for Walker to deal with the inevitable body image issues that will surface later in life from being called “little fattie” during his first year. In all seriousness, this is one big, happy, roly-poly baby.
In her junior year at Tulane, Charisse assumed parental responsibility for three underprivileged fraternity boys and is housing them in the Pine Street Projects. She spent the summer cruising the Mediterranean and doing “field work” in Marrakesh, Mykonos, Malta and the like. Charisse successfully navigated the train system in Italy and acquired the “best tan of her life.” For this she received nine credit hours. Remember college? Ever the activist, she went on a hunger strike to protest the government shutdown this fall, although it only consisted of not using real mozzarella on her pizza bagels. Her honors thesis is on the effect of hairstyles on social interaction in developing economies. Charisse has it all figured out. She is teaching us to properly pronounce “summa cum laude.”
As a senior, Cheyenne combines brilliance and discipline with an “act like you’ve been there before” attitude about her most exciting accomplishments. After studying the Theory of Relativity this summer, she decided to attend Stanford University next year, likely on her way to a Nobel in some field of science that we don’t understand. The subject of her application essay on a historical event was a critique of Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star. She is the MVP of her high school swim team, star of Academic Decathlon, and won 1st place in a state chemistry competition named NaChO. (Surprisingly not an eating competition.) We bask in her glory and hope that she doesn’t try to explain covalent bonds or wormholes to us again. The Force is strong with this one.
Jacob passed his driving test with a score of 84. This gives him the highest score in the house by ten points, parents included. With his license and vehicle he has become a free-range teenager. We are not sure what life will be like next year when he is the only one left in the house, but he is encouraging us to take lots of weekend trips alone. Jacob has become a serious swimmer breaking records and hearts meet after meet. His swim team honored him with the “Charger Pride Award” in the spring making him the first freshman ever to earn this recognition – if you don’t count his sister. If you can overcome the gravitational pull of his laptop, he loves adventure. After spending a week in the summer catching sharks, he spent Christmas SCUBA diving with them.
After retiring from her long career as a taxi driver, Richele changed her occupation to community volunteer (and exercise fanatic.) She got hornswoggled into a seat on the Boerne Education Foundation Board of Directors and quickly learned the oxymoronic definition of legislative leadership. Politics are vicious when the stakes are small. Her new role as grandma Gigi is destined to be a classic. Oh yes, we will remember it well. Richele is also the reluctant primary care giver for our narcoleptic Labrador, Tyson. That job requires almost as much love and understanding as her ongoing struggle to get Billy to finally complete obedience school.
Billy may have gone over the edge. Since the name of his consulting firm is Kalypso, he and his business partner decided to buy their own island. They keep talking about brand support or some other nonsense to justify it. We don’t really care as long as we get to go. You can go, too. Check it out at www.royalbelize.com. Ask for the friends and family rate. In addition to tropical ventures, Billy continues to teach the Housley Principled Leadership course and will be at three universities in the spring. He is active blogging about innovation, supporting a couple of startups, raising money for Stelos Alliance, and serving Texas State on the Development Foundation board. He manages to squeeze in work between frequent trips searching for snow, sun & fun. He remains disobedient.
We moved around as much as ever this year with family trips to Deer Valley, the Inauguration, San Diego, Lake LBJ, Kiawah Island, New Orleans, New York a couple of times, and the Bahamas for Christmas. Richele and Billy left the kids for a week of sailing and diving in Belize, a long weekend in Cabo, a party in Monterrey, and a first time trip to Palm Springs. We also went to Chicago for a taping of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. And then, of course, Billy travels for “work” to places like Saint Martin, Belize, Monterrey, and Cabo San Lucas. Nana and Papa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Houston in July with a sunset cruise.
Home base continues to be the Texas Hill Country where we go for peace and our version of normal. It may not be the Utopia we set out to create, but it is pretty good when we are there. The family is growing while the number at home will shrink further in the year ahead. Who knows what the future holds? You may have to come visit us on the island where we will be spoiling grand kids.