One of the highlights of my year--and I know of Connie and Ben's--is the gift of Rasmus and Felix. They are fun and respectful young men who brighten our days with their stories, laughter, and good humor.
At school, the boys are shining examples of what exchange students should be. They enjoy their teachers, attend plays and sporting events to support their American friends, and treat their schoolmates with kindness. The school office staff loves "The Foreigns," and all the coaches (especially those of tennis, track, and baseball) want these talented boys on their teams!
Here at home we laugh a lot and enjoy dinner together most evenings. It's like a television sitcom: "Three Guys and a Dog." There are ping pong matches and movies, Celtics games and wild battles of "Catch Bailey" where Bailey runs around the first floor of this big old house carrying his special "Turtle" while one, two, or three of us chase him down to wrestle away the Turtle. He loves it... and he loves these boys. Last night, Felix reports, Bailey slept on his bed for 3 hours.
On Christmas Eve, I watched as the boys called home to chat with you, their families. Even though you spoke in languages that I'll never understand, I recognized the stories being told and the deep love that carried these conversations across thousands of miles. What a joy to behold.
This morning, the boys are at Rumford's lovely Catholic Church with their Aunt Connie. They'll learn more about American religious traditions and then return to a breakfast brunch and a wide array of Christmas presents from Santa, Bailey, Fred & Pam, Rich, and a few special contributors. Ho! Connie and Ben will celebrate with the boys on Monday night after we return from Boston. Santa has been kind to "the Foreigns"; he knows how difficult it can be to be far away from home during the holidays. What amazing courage it takes to leave home at 16- and 17-years-old… and what courage it takes for parents, siblings, and friends to let them go for the year.
Thank you so much for sharing your sons. They are the most special Christmas presents I could ever have. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Affectionately, your friend,
... and always, Bailey Tuckerman.