Of Droids, Adele, and Postcards

Christmas school breaks spent at home can provide indelible family memories, if you just listen to the interplay between your take and your kids’ takes on life.

Here are some snippets from my Christmas school break with the kids this year.

At our tree trimming, just before I was going to put the star at the top of the tree, I had the audacity to play Billie’s You don’t know what love means. I was soon voted off the airwaves by my wife and children who replaced my Holiday choice with their latest fav the Adele anthem Someone like you. They preferred their artist’s soulful rendition to Billie’s because, they argued, Adele was expressing well the heartfelt fact that “one does not experience true pain until one loses someone one loves.” 

So, I quoted the first and third lines of the first stanza of Billie’s blues classic: “You don’t know what loves is until you’ve loved a love you’ve had to lose.” Though that bought me some pause and credibility they continued to trim to their own tune as if somehow I was the one out of touch with the lyrics of today speak. So, as I descended the stairs in mock retreat, I left them with my holiday parting shot: “Though I’m the true one and only of this tinsel-hanging crew, I now roll in the deep despair, of one who knows he won’t return until the end starts.”


“Wow! That is such a cool model you built, brother,” said my daughter to her twin.

“Thanks. It’s called a Droid Transport.”

“Really, a transport for smart phones?”

“No, it’s what they call these little space guys. I know it’s a weird name for a Space Soldier, right?”

After I explained the ancient Star Wars era android concept behind the Lucasfilm Ltd. DROID trademark, and the subsequent retro derivative Google Android little man logo trademark as used with the smart phones they did know about, I had pretty much exhausted my movies-technology-science fiction repertoire. Ok, I could have talked about Flash Gordon but only because my grandfather told me about him. In any case, I think they followed me pretty much all the way from Skywalker to the 4G Galaxy S II.


On one cool, windy, cloudy, after-Christmas-day we went downtown to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to catch both the incredible NASA Deep Space Photos exhibit and the Egyptian Mummification Techniques exhibit. In between we caught up with the mummified, prehistoric bison addition to the dinosaur exhibit and touched bisthmus crystals.

I tried to explain to the kids that finding a $4 parking spot in front of the museum, getting into it within six minutes of parking, not paying for the privilege of the three hours we spent viewing the exhibits, and barely running into any other visitors while there, was one of the joys of being a Kingstowne museum visitor in DC. “This is your home turf and it has advantages metro areas many times bigger don’t have.”

I compared the experience to the hours we spent in lines waiting for the chance to pay The Met to see their collections, or our similar experience with no-option but highly-paid parking and waiting periods for the mistimed-ticket entry into the Getty Museum, but that was too yesteryear to register in today speak. “The Met was where that big, loud lady sang, and the Getty was the Civil War one, right?”

But, they did think the NMNH exhibits were too cool not to share with mommy. So we picked up a museum postcard and wrote our impressions about our visit on it, attached a museum-shop German-grown bisthmus crystal to it, printed out some of our visit’s phone photos, and stacked them on her dinner plate as souvenirs and meal conversation pieces.


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