Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, May 17, 2019


She got off to a rough start.  Actually, the start was pretty good -- she was healthy, happy, and placid at birth -- but coming out of the gate...

She developed colic.  Not your run-of-the-mill colic, but the kind of colic that had all other colics bow down in fear and trepidation.  And it lasted forever.  Kitty and I would take turns trying to soothe her at night, with each of getting about four hours of sleep if we were lucky.  Kitty's mother told us we just did not know how to handle a colicky baby.  "Let me take her for one night.  I'll show you."  The next day she told us, "I was going to rock her to sleep, but I couldn't find a biog enough rock!"  The pediatricians told us she would grow out of it.  She didn't.  Finally one doctor wrote a prescription for cranky baby drops -- "She doesn't really need it but from the looks of you two, you do."  We were so far gone by the time we got them, we spilled over half the bottle over her.  But the cranky baby drops did the trick.  Within two days, she was sweet and loving and perfect.  Our Mr, Hyde has transformed into Dr. Jekyll.  It was like she was making up for the previous few months.

And she has been perfect ever since.

Up until she began school she was known as Christy.  One day early on (was it kindergarten or first grade?  I can't remember) she came home from school and told us her name was not Christy, it was Christina.  And it's been Christina ever since.  (She still retains the family nickname Bink, but everyone else knows her as Christina.)

She has always been a determined child, something that she has carried  into adulthood.  While attending George Washington University, she went with one of her roommates to check out the schools Taekwondo club; her roomie bailed after  couple of weeks but Christina stayed with it, eventually getting her black belt and becoming president of the club.  It wasn't easy going through the belts.  She would reach a plateau and keep practicing and practicing until suddenly she would leap to another plateau.  That cycle would repeat itself over and over until she became an inspiration for others.

One of her favorite past times was to sit on the steps of the Lincoln Monument with a friend and watch all the different types of people visiting there.  One day a limousine pulled up and a well-dressed man got out, followed by numerous secret service agents.  They asked a secret service agent who the man was and was told,"I can't tell you."  Christina and her friend thought they might be in midst of some big government secret but the agent then continued, "I can't tell you because he's some big politician from an Eastern European country and I can't pronounce his name."  So much for a big government secret.

One of her part-time jobs while in school was at a muffin shop in Crystal City.  At the end of the day there were always a number of muffins thrown out.  Christina would take those muffins and hand them out to the homeless on her way back to the dormitory.

She credits being able to finish school on A-1 Sauce.  You can pour that sucker on anything the school cafeteria dishes out and it becomes edible.

She majored in biology, a subject she loved, and had intended to become a doctor.  While at GW she met many doctors and most of them were unhappy.  Unhappiness was not in her game plan, so becoming a doctor was out.

After graduation she worked for a DC-area  ambulance service.  It was there she met Walt, the man she would marry.  It almost didn't happen because Walt had Greta, a massive rottweiler who scared Christina.  Greta turned out to be a sweetie and the best dog-ever-at-that-time and Christina loved her.  She and Walt later got another rottweiler, Athena, who was the best dog ever.  They also got Grace, a Great Dane, because they felt sorry for her.  Then they got Phantom, a nervous Australian cattle dog, who was skittish but sweet.  Then came Pirate, a Chesapeake Bay retriever who instantly became the best dog in the universe.  Then Acorn, another Chessie, and Duncan, an active little black ball of fur.  Most recently they acquired Happy, a sweet puppy whose name fits her to a tee.  I probably forgot a few dogs along the way.Currently they are down to the last three named.  But I haven't mentioned the goats, which had to be re-homed when they moved to Florida, or the monitor lizard, or the bearded dragon, or the ball pythons, or the turtle, or the hedgehogs, or the four cats -- Willow (now residing with us), Sage, Mint (who managed to sneak outside on day and vanished, probably at the paws of a bear or coyote **sniff**), and Sprout-the-best-kitten-in-the-world.   I mention all the animals because a love of animals and nature is an essential part of Christina.

Christina worked for a while as an assistant in a doctor's office, then moved on to be an emergency room assistant.  The ER doctors were grateful whenever Christina was on duty because they knew everything would run perfectly.  She would take everything in stride, even when the ER was quarantined because of an unknown hemorrhagic threat.  Seemingly cool under pressure, we described her a a duck, swimming smoothly on the surface while paddling like the dickens below the surface.  The thing I am proudest of her during those years was that Christina would sit with dying patients because of her belief that no one should die alone.

She then trained to become a cardio-stenographer, often spotting dangerous situations and keeping patients until a cardiologist could arrive.  For a while she also taught cardio-stenography at her alma mater, George Washington University.  After a few years, wheeling a five hundred pound machine from room to room became a strain on her back.

The transition to sign language interpreter was not an easy one but, as I said, Christina is determined.  She currently is a sign language interpret for a high school girl in the public school system.

In addition to the above, she and Walt run their own cold process soap making business which is becoming very successful -- Cove Lake Soapworks (good stuff, look them up on Etsy).

Christina's biggest accomplishment is her children.  Mark is finishing up his first year of college.  He is quiet and has a great sense of humor.  He also has Christina's determination.  He runs, and runs well.  In addition to many smaller races he has completed two marathons and is prepping for a third this fall.  Erin will be a high school senior in the fall.  If possible, she is a more avid animal lover than Mark.  As a junior she already has enough credits to graduate high school and will be taking more college courses in the fall while remaining a senior.  And Jack.  Jack, now six, is in his own category.  Christina and Walt began fostering him when he was six weeks, immediately after he was released from Children's Hospital after detoxing from the drugs his mother took while carrying him.  They legally adopted him a few years later.  As the newest and youngest Roof, Jack has flourished beyond expectations.  There are still some physical hurdles to navigate and the long-term effects of being a drug addicted newborn are not known.  Jack today, however, is sweet and smart and active.  He reads above his grade level and can dance up a storm.  The patience and guidance Christina has given each of her kids is remarkable.  

By the way, all of her kids are good-looking.  Mark is studiously handsome.  Erin is drop dead gorgeous.  And Jack has striking devil in his eyes good looks.  (Christina and Walt are also tres good-looking.)

The house...the family...the soap business...I don't know how Christina handles it all, but she does.  And does it well.  

That this caring, loving, determined, sweet woman is our daughter amazes us.  We are so proud of her, as we are proud of her sister who has many of the same qualities.  Can there be any doubt that we love her?  I thought not.

No comments:

Post a Comment