Okay, so it's only for one week, but the Cincinatti City Beat re-ran a New York Press column I wrote about spending the holidays with a non-festive partner. Please click on it and read so the editors realize they should make me a permanent presence in Ohio.
In other holiday news, my friend Sarah is a nurse in Paterson, NJ. Each year she rounds up some of her young patients who are about to have a very dismal Christmas, gives me their info and I make sure that Santa doesn't forget about them. If anyone feels like contributing, I set up an Amazon Wishlist with a bunch of toys and things I think the kids would like. But I'm no expert so if you have some better ideas, please email me. The kids descriptions are after the jump. Prepare for a tugging at the heartstrings—one of the little girls uses a rolled up towel for a doll. Oy vey.
• Vanessa. She is 3 1/2. Started preschool two months ago. Likes Dora the Explorer and Diego and pink things. Very verbal but can't read at all yet.
• Kayla. She is 16 months old, very smiley. Puts everything into her mouth. Needs learning toys! Is very girly and misses her big sister who had been home all the time but is out at pre-school all day now.
• Mom, Yahaira is a 20-year-old bilingual. Loves her girls. Works as a security guard. Likes pretty things and is always immaculately well-groomed.
• Father, Vinicio, is a 22 year old bilingual electrician and carpenter. Likes computers and working on the apartment which is very worn out.
• Eric is 3 1/2 but big for his age. He is VERY active. Lives in a small apartment and doesn't have play space outside. (Actually, no one does—they live in the 'hood) He is Spanish speaking only, as is entire family. Hasn’t started preschool yet.
• Rickey. He is 2 years old and very small for his age. Extremely thin. He’s not very active, but likes to try to follow his brother. Neither boy has any learning toys.
• Mom, Aqualina, is 40 years old, Spanish speaker who wants to learn English but has no childcare to get out and go to a class. She is always tired from trying to keep up with Eric.
• Father, Domingo, is a 34 year old construction worker. Works very long hours.
• Sadia is 3 1⁄2. She told me about her towel-baby and towel-baby’s hat. (It was a rolled-up towel with Strawberry Shortcake hat on the top of the roll.) Towel-baby was sick today, so she sang it a little song. They’re Moslem Bengali and Sadia is just learning English.
• Sumaia is almost 2 and rarely talks but smiles a lot. They don't have much in the way of toys.
• Kulsuma, their mother is 26, small, quiet and just got her citizenship this August. Her husband/their dad should be coming to the US this winter.
I'm trying to get everything to my office by 12/20/07 so I can wrap it all and get Santa out to Paterson by Christmas. Please forward to anyone you think might be willing and able to help.
Thank you and ho, ho, ho.