Monday, February 19, 2007

This weekend was supposed to be our annual ski weekend with the Paneros. But on Saturday morning before we left Joe got sick and threw up. I really didn't want to leave him, but Jack was itching to ski and to spend time with his buddy Liam. So Mom and I agreed that I would take Jack and she would stay home with Joe.

Hugh couldn't make it this weekend either 'cause he had to work. Something very big happened. Hugh's company, where I used to work, merged with the other satellite radio company. But MB, Sophia, Sophia's friend and Liam all made it out to the ski place.

It snowed a lot and was really cold. Over the whole time we were there it barely reached 20 degrees out. The mountain was at a beautiful place called Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. Before you were born I went there with a lot of people for Cousin Ron's birthday. That time we all waterskied on the lake. This time we watched people snowmobiling and ice fishing. I don't totally understand ice fishing. I think it is more about sitting alone than it is about catching fish. But that is just a guess.

Jack and Liam took snowboarding lessons. Those two are incredibly tough because it was super-freezing, the wind was blowing and the snow was falling. Jack wasn't totally in love with snowboarding and wanted to get back to skiing.

Today Liam went snowboarding and MB went cross-country skiing. I got to ski with Jack, who is good and definitely enjoyed it more than snowboarding.

It was sad to leave with the weather becoming so nice. The sun finally broke through.

It would have been a lot better if both families were at full-strength, but it was fun anyway and nice to spend time with Jack. We had a good time on the drive home rockin' out to Led Zeppelin, groovin' to the Sugarhill Gang and laughin' along to Bill Cosby.

Jack spends a lot of time watching and reading and listening to funny things. I think he is a lot like me. He loves the Simpsons on TV and reads the comics every morning. It is good that he spends so much time with things that make him smile and laugh. He is always telling me about something funny he read in Calvin and Hobbes, or repeating a joke he heard.

Right now he is devouring a Peanuts collection. Just as Charlie Brown says, "Rats," Jack says "Snap." That is his way of saying "darn it."

They have this neat thing at the ski place. If you are in Fourth Grade, like Jack, you can ski for free all season if you have all A's and B's on your report card. We got Jack's report card the day we left. I wish I had brought it with us. He could have skied for free. Who knew.

Joe is feeling better now, and Mom has plans for all of us to go skiing next weekend. Joe went ice skating for his first-time ever a week ago at Cabin John, and had the best time. He was falling on his butt a lot at first, but then got the hang of it and was doing jumps. I know he'll take to skiing the same way. He is fearless and a great athlete.

You want to know something else about Joe. He likes to draw. He is Mr. Baseball but he is also a bit of an artist. I like that about him. He makes great drawings at school and at home. He asks me to name something -- like an elephant -- and he'll draw a picture of it for me. He drew a lot of valentines for Valentine's Day.

Joe is 5. I kinda remember you being at your peak when you were 5 -- before we left for transplant.

I miss you so much big guy. You never got to ski. Never got to ice skate. I've said this before, but I miss all of the first times you never had.

I love you.

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