Monday, December 6, 2010

A Christmas Letter to Me.

Dear Me,

This year, you can't seem to pen the memorable, the important, the regular, or the mundane.  This year, you are increasingly finding that the real relationships matter more than the Christmas letter.  And you're finding it harder and harder to remember what life was like in Christmases past, and you worry that one day you'll forget, too, what made this year matter, and so you write.  To you.  And here is what you say:

Hello Old Friend.  You really were 34 once.  And your babies were "little" and you did the best you could.  Most days.  Some times you did better than others.

This year, JT traveled.  A lot.  And you thought for a long time that you needed a bigger house.  And his lesser commute.  And you sat in the middle of "The Toy Room" and nearly had a nervous breakdown over the amount of 'stuff' you had acquired.  And you saw how very unimportant 'stuff' is.  And you tried to teach this wisdom to your children.  They have not yet grasped or embraced the concept.  Your garage is half full of toys none of you have sorted through or been willing to part with.  You remain hopeful that one day it will grow legs and walk away on its own so that you won't eventually have to face it yourself.  You are grateful that not only the new-build fell through but ultimately that the sale of your home did not come to fruition either because God has been telling you that His plans are bigger than your house.  You just haven't picked up the phone and called Him back yet to find out what His plans are.

You are terrible about returning phone calls in general, by the way.

The kids are doing great.  And all that that means. 

T is quirky and passionate and smart.  Everywhere he goes, people comment on how polite he is.  Just this morning, you yelled at him for apologizing for your own poor behavior.  "Don't say you're sorry for something you didn't do!" you chided him.  You owed him an apology.  And thankfully you gave it.  And he said, "I accept your apology."  The nurse at the doctor's office told you he would make a fine husband one day.  You couldn't agree more.  He is a boy with a heart of gold.  He is often (not always) self-motivated.  Just yesterday, you complimented him on his fine ability to vacuum with precision and focus.   Very straight lines.  Even though he forgot the kitchen.  He saves the notes you write him.  Under his pillow.  He was sick last week, and you realized again that every good man needs his momma when he has a cold.  Man-Oh.  He can talk you into brain freeze.  And he admitted the other day that sometimes he tests people he knows aren't listening by asking them a bogus question and waiting to hear their response.  And then he laughs it off.  Even though you're pretty sure it breaks his heart.  He's up at the crack of dawn and he doesn't need a list to remind him of his morning expectations (including peeing! ;) ) and he quietly finished all his makeup work in the reading room without prompting.  Sometimes he may drive you nuts.  But he's amazing.

Pookie is enjoying the ribbon she won for her gingerbread igloo (T received one, too!).  And she is questioning how big her role in the Charlie Brown Musical really is going to be.  She is shiny and bright and all things spectacular.   Her health scared you a few times this fall.  And she's coughing again but puts together her own nebulizer treatments now.  Remember when you set up the feeding tube to run every night?  And found her wrapped in the tubing at the bottom of her crib?  No?  That's why you're writing this tonite.  So you don't forget the little things that were big things that fade.   The good and the bad.  Pookie's struggling with friendships this year.  All the friends are in a different class.  Together.  She was so excited when she heard a new girl was starting this morning.  But the new girl wasn't GinaAnn Betty Davison.  You know what I mean. You remind her that it's better to have one good friend than 100 untrue friends.  And she has made friends with one little girl.  You like this girl.  She's just busy a lot.  So, Pookie yearns for friends and playdates and being a star off the stage.  It hurts.  She's teaching you that sometimes values are taught AND learned.  She's learning what it means to be a friend.  And how to be a friend.  It's a life lesson you yourself seem to still be learning.

Meiners.  What a card.  He wants eskimo kisses and extra hugs and he loves his Ma.  Just not in front of the friends, please.  He's athletic and funny and kind.  And he, too, looks for his place to fit in.  Yet, he makes the space.  We laugh at him in practice.  Competetive.  Driven.  Focused.  Sidelines, he's telling jokes and pushing the limits and making things fun.  His reading is improving.  He's learning to write in cursive.  (Because he's a triplet, afterall.)  But he's not wanting to go to Stretch.  Initially, it was an altercation on the bus, so you agreed to drive him to school.  Lately, though, it's a little unclearer as to what is ailing him come Monday mornings.  Monday afternoons, he's gregarious and talkative and full of the fun he had while there.  But getting him to Stretch is tummy aches and complaining lots and time for Mom to pull up her big girl panties and play tough love.


Sasha.  Sasha is squishable, squeezable, and fun.  She is your sidekick, through and through.  The day of BoyScout food drive, she said, "I follow the orange coat.  I follow the orange coat."  (Your coat ~ as you ran through the apartment building upstairs and down.)  You love to whisper in her ear, "Wanna know a secret?"  And before you can gather your breath in, she stage whispers in response, "I love you!"  It is such a clever race.  But don't come to her rescue when she needs toilet paper in the bathroom?  Or hello ~ even ask her to go pee in the first place?  "Hell hath no fury" comes to mind.  Or perhaps "the bump on the log."  Or "the dead weight."  Or maybe just the kid who kinda just needs a spanking.  She L.O.V.E.s her cousins.  Mostly Joe, but she really struggled with the a) vs. b) of Kaden vs. Joey at Thanksgiving (thankfully Joe was in IA).  If only the sweet li'l girl realized marrying your cuz is illegal in most states...hahaha.  Seriously, she has herself wrapped around your finger, knows the buttons to push, etc. etc. etc.  She can get away with a giant Hershey kiss for breakfast if you're not careful.  Allergic to milk my tail (sage wisdom from the sweet, maternal, and all-knowing Dr. Ortiz....).

And you?  Well sit down.  Make yourself comfy. Cuz it's gonna be a while!


You are totally, unequivocally, 100% addicted to BreadCo icee mochas.  And yet, you gave them up for 15 days.  Only to take them up again.  Because you love them. You're a talented baker, but you're not so good at cooking.  Or are you really good at healthy eating, but they're not so good at eating healthy?  You love your life, but you are still finding your way.  You wholly believe in God, but you continue to uncover your faith.  You drive around a lot thinking (you prefer calling it 'chauffering?')  You think about the 3 friends you have lost in the last few years that break your heart.  They've simply walked away for various reasons ~ and you've found them irreplaceable. You're discovering what it means to be A Wife.  And you're better at it some days than others.  Just like Motherhood.  You haven't run most of the fall.  Your knees ache and your weight - though down - creeps slowly back up pre-marathon.  Maybe you'll run again?  Maybe.  You don't have a niche, so to speak.  You used to be "The Stamp Lady."  You take decent pictures, and people compliment you, although you tend to see other photographer~moms taking pictures just as good and you scoff at your aspirations.  Maybe one day you'll go back into Speech Pathology?  Maybe one day you'll work at Bread Co.  At this point, the future is rearing its ugly head, but you're not ready to face it.  You have friends but not those friends.  You have dreams and aspirations and thoughts and goals and desires and time but no time and Christmas letters to write.  So you pen a few personal lines, and you write here.

Because one day?  One day you will read it, and it will matter that this was 2010.  And you lived it.  And you'll remember that it was important. To you.

There is laundry to fold and the dog needs let in.
Merry Christmas Karin.

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