Holiday Letter, rough draft

Dear Friends and Family,

Of all the things I need to be writing, or will be writing, or have even thought about writing, this is the the most difficult. How to summarize and represent all that’s happened to our family in the past year? But I know you’ve all been wondering, waiting so patiently all these months.

Putting these words to paper, though, is truly arduous. Worst of all is the fact that you are only reading this line here in the second paragraph after having skipped the entire letter to see if there are pictures of the kids. To be fair, I would have done the same — at least with most of you, the notable exception being my sister’s family. And, yes, I would have been equally disappointed to see our photo infected with the image of myself. But you got the daughters there — “oh I can’t believe how much they’ve grown,” you say, every year. They love it when you say that.

But you still have to read this letter, the literary equivalent of a grocery list, and you find yourself now in the third paragraph. I’m surprised that I’m still writing, frankly, but really pleased that you’ve pushed on this far and made this trial worthwhile for me, at least somewhat. I’ll at least persevere through another paragraph.

The problem with these letters is that I usually hate reading them, so I am pained to have to be writing something that others are going to resent. For example, I can’t stand your descriptions of your trips to Scotland (the castles were so big! the moss was so green!) or how smart your dog is (third place in the northern suburb regional agility competition, Division B) or, worse, how smart your kids are because I have kids, too, and mine are smarter than yours no matter how adamantly we disagree on this point. I submit their third place showing in the northern suburb regional math competition (Division B) as evidence.

I did not go to Scotland; my dog brings me a ratty, slobbered, stuffed toy when I enter the door as though it’s exactly what I wanted all day; my kids are beautiful and living to a potential that they can realize because, well, their mother. I muddle through. We are basically happy and healthy — things have been worse, and I’m sure we’ll see worse in the future. For now, this is good; I’ll take it. I’d tell you more, but just getting to this point has made me realize that telling you why I should be happy (or not), healthy (or not), etc. (or not) does not make me any more (or less) so.

Enjoy the picture.

With love,

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