I love annual letters. In many cases it’s the only update I get from families. You know, what with me being semi-anti-social and all. I’ve always wanted to write one of these letters, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to stick to the facts. I’d go way off track, and it’d end up a little something like this:
Dear family and friends,
It is with warmest greetings that we, the d’Saster family, send our 13th annual holiday letter! Bill and I celebrated our 13th anniversary with a perfectly adequate dinner at Red Lobster–after the basement flood last spring there wasn’t exactly extra money for a trip to Hawaii! Bill continues to amaze me even after all these years together. Who knew back then that his woodworking hobby would lead to certifiable hoarder status of wood scraps? Indeed, I’m happy to relinquish any hope of parking in the garage since his decade-long efforts have resulted in precisely two lovely birdhouses, not to mention stacks upon stacks of priceless wood. I’ll get that bedroom set someday! At work Bill continues in middle management. It seems he was born to be in just that position, and is quite content to never move an inch from where he is right now. His loyalty is an asset to the company, to be sure, and never ceases to surprise me.
Bill Jr., 12, is in the seventh grade and is easily three inches taller than mom! It’s comforting to know he still needs his parents, though, if only to bail him out. In June we had a hair-raising experience–the local sheriff called to tell us Bill Jr. had been arrested for selling my anti-anxiety pills to fellow students. Let me tell you, Mom needed those pills more that ever that day! Though he rarely talks to us these days, we are confident our sensitive son was simply showing us he has a future in business, in his misguided middle school way.
Tommy is flourishing in the fourth grade. Holding him back last year has only been a positive thing–he’s the biggest kid on his flag football team. We’ve also discovered a creative streak in him: we recently came home to find the babysitter passed out and the family cat’s hair shaved into an impressive mohawk.
Misty and Mandy, who we affectionately call our “oops” girls, turned 2 this year. It truly has brought Bill and me closer to start ALL the way over again with not one but TWO active children. In fact, nary a night goes by when one of us doesn’t point out where we’d be now if that birth control hadn’t failed so spectacularly. Misty is our little acrobat–there is nothing she can’t climb. She particularly likes the china hutch. Luckily I don’t have to worry about her breaking anything in there (you may remember our ’07 letter detailing the day Bill Jr. introduced my wedding china to his BB gun). Mandy is the family drill sergeant, ordering everyone around with her high-pitched screams. She also gets a kick out of being dirty and making others dirty. We visited my mother in the fall and, during a shopping trip to an upscale clothing store, discovered too late that Mandy had smeared nearly $1,000-worth of clothing with peanut butter and jelly! I now have a closet full of stained Size 10 Petite women’s clothing I don’t fit, in case anyone is looking for a few new outfits!
In addition to raising four spirited members of society, I continue my work as vice president of our neighborhood yard-improvement council. I also have taken up knitting. The knitting group I belong to is a lovely collection of women who enjoy a bottle or five of wine just as much as I do.
Here’s to a happy holiday season!