Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Holiday Newsletter 2012



Dear Holiday Newsletter 2012,

Following last year's new tradition, I coerced asked Dear Husband to have the honor of writing you again this year.  He must have had an inclination, since he did not fail to produce.  That he likes to write in third person, however, makes it unclear to the reader who the Smart Alec author was.

It was not I. 

***

HOLIDAY NEWSLETTER 2012

Did someone press the pause button? As part of the 47%, those dependent and binder-less Americans (later turned out to be a 51% majority, a small quibble), this past year felt like a marathon on treadmills…a lot of exertion but standing in place while time whizzed by with little progress as the country continues to be plagued by prolonged economic doldrums and entrenched political grandstanding. However, on the day of this writing, the breaking news and images on TV were the sobering and tragic grade school shooting in Newtown, CT. On a day like this, all the white noise and extraneous distractions fall away, and one is left with the crystal realization that the only thing that truly matters is the health and safety of one’s family.

Now that we have dispensed with the political hot air and reflected on heavy thoughts, here is a glimpse of what everyday life was like in our humble abode in the form of the “Top Things Overheard in Our Residence in 2012” (in no particular order):
  • Tween Tone.  At age nine, Dear Daughter is displaying early signs of tween-dom (e.g., catchy pop songs on her iPod and spirit squad participation). DD is now quick with sassy come-backs reserved solely for her parents (e.g., “I touched it” as declared by DD while poking food with a fork in response to Dear Wife’s observation that DD hardly “touched” the meal on her dinner plate) and selective hearing (momentary deafness is particularly prone when called upon to clean or do homework). DS also on occasions would chime in with his retorts (e.g., reacting to Dear Son’s incessant demands, DH would deplore “one second, please” to which DS would count off “one second”). 
  •  
  • "Can I have dessert?”  This question is code for candy (DS) and chocolate/ice cream (DD) on a daily basis after meals. In our defense, the kiddos have no cavities (knock on enamel), and it provides a few precious minutes of peace and quiet while the kiddos forage the pantry cabinet or refrigerator for savory snacks after healthy meals.  We have been accused of living vicariously through our kids and making up for perceived deprivations in our childhoods to which we unapologetically confess. 
  •  
  • “What is that?” (stage direction: innocent tone with up-down-up dialogue cadence).  DD has finely honed an extra sense in detecting things of interests that are happening around her. Whether it be those colorful and elegant macaroons that DW may be hoping to savor alone in the kitchen or a cute hair band/accessory that catches her fancy at the store, DD would ever-so-subtly deploy from her stash of passive-aggressive arsenals the question, “what is that?” while innocently batting her eyelashes like a hummingbird zooming in on a blooming flower with dripping nectar. 
  •  
  • Melodious sound of string music interspersed with high-pitched whine and stomping feet.  Unlike DD who suffers hopelessly from teacher-worship syndrome and is quiet as a mouse during lessons, DS possesses the seriousness of a coroner conducting an autopsy and would publicly display in demonstrative fashion his displeasure at any misplaced note, much to DW’s chagrin and dismay. The challenge for us is to guide DS’ innate perfectionism as a positive force; the benefit is that DS goes all-in with his chips when playing—his bowing resembles someone hacking a yule log with a high-powered Husqvarna chain saw—with full force and determination.
  •  
  • Sounds of late night keystrokes.  Every household has its distinctive and characteristic noises that can only be readily discerned during the quiet of the night. Some houses sing out staccato, creaking-floor chirps, while others reverberate with bass-like plumbing rumbles. At our house, you will hear the pitter-patter sounds of DW’s rhythmic drumming of her fingers on the laptop keyboard. On week nights, the virtuoso keystrokes will be composing (or responding to her reader comments on) DW’s personal Letters of Muse blog or creative writing Promptly I Write blog. On most weekends, the keystrokes will signify DW preparing for engaging Mandarin lessons for her Sunday Toddler Class at our local non-for-profit Chinese school.
  •  
  • “Daddy’s teams always lose.”  As the case with most truisms, this one hits the solar plexus and hurts, because it is true.  At all of five, DS possesses a keen and clever awareness which, when combined with his elephantine memory, give his parents pause in what they say in his presence. Without having to crunch disparate numbers and design elegant algorithms like Nate Silver, DS was able to discern from DH’s animated protestations and resigned groaning on most Saturdays during the pigskin season that his father’s alma mater has yet again managed to rip out DH’s heart and trample it on the ground like so many tomatoes during the La Tomatina festival. 
  •  
  • “Where/what are we eating?”  This is a common conundrum for us. It is a complicated calculus of current mood, craving, dietary considerations, driving distance and economics. DW and DH would constantly return this question back and forth like table tennis with alternating top-spin and smash. We would each in our minds drive around our neighborhood virtually like the iPhone 3D flyover feature to get inspiration. Ultimately, our kids have veto power over what we finally decide anyway.  

We sincerely wish you and your family a most joyful holiday season and a peaceful 2013!    
***
So, Dear Newsletter 2012, you've been replicated and sent out to our family and friends. I think one has to know DH personally to get that his humor prevails in this newsletter. However, several of my friends have just assumed that I penned it for the holiday cards since it revolves all around the kiddos (which tells you who really runs our household). So if they enjoyed the humor in you, I'll gladly let DH take all the credit. If not, I'm throwing him under the bus.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Sincerely,
Me



11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sending it to us, I had a fun time reading it, he is a fine and fun writer.

    Kids are gorgeous and so grown up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! (I'll pass it along to DH since you enjoyed it, LOL.) I'm grateful for your friendship over the years. I can't believe it's been over a decade. Much love to you and yours. Merry Christmas!

      Delete
    2. Sandra, I am grateful to have you in my life too, but we need to finally get together, 2013 could be the year?

      Delete
    3. Laura, it *COULD* be! The last time we were in the Bay Area was FIVE years ago! I can't believe it's been that long. And it used to be home to us eons ago. We are due for a visit. If not this year, very soon. I will DEFINITELY be in touch if we plan a trip out!! Cannot wait to meet in person, Laura!

      Delete
  2. What a great newsletter! "Where/What are we eating" and "Can I have dessert" are also quite common in my own household...and unfortunately my almost-4-yr old seems to have developed a bit of the "Tween tone" as well!

    Thanks for sharing this letter, I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas and that you have an amazing New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Rachael! I hope you had a great day with your family! I'm glad you enjoyed this newsletter (although DH and I both think it's not as good as the one from last year).

      I'm really glad to have met you, and thank you so much for stopping by here and on Promptly. I appreciate your comments as much as I enjoy reading your work! Best wishes for the New Year to you and your family!

      Delete
  3. Your hubs is an equally good writer, I'm impressed! Oh my gosh on the tween tones! That would irritate so much more than the terrible twos right now!!! Sounds like DW needs a break!! Hehe..or at least a wrist guard for all those nights at the computer! Merry Christmas to your family! Love the newsletter! I skipped a newsletter this year :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lisa! I sorry for the late response. I took a few days off from cyberspace :) Actually, I think DH is a much better writer than I! His newsletter last year was awesome and better than this year's. I have always written the newsletter yearly since DD's birth, but as of last year, I passed on that privilege to DH.

      Speaking of tween tones, I just asked DD the other night why her hair falls in her food all the time (when eating). To which she responded, "Cuz it's hungry today." I couldn't help but laugh hysterically at that. It's fun to see her develop a sense of humor :) (So long as I'm in a good mood, that is.)

      Delete
    2. Oh, how smart of her ;). Yes, we need to "be in the mood" to respond with humor

      Delete
  4. Oh, the tween tones...my older son is ten and he's got them. (I was talking to him the other day and he cut me off with an eye roll and a "whatevs".)

    This was an entertaining letter. I've never done a family letter. I'm so lazy, I let Costco say it all on our cards "have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year."

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family!

    P.S. I can relate to the late-night keystrokes, but I'm starting to pack it in earlier before I'm permanently damaged from lack of sleep :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Janna! I'm sure my 9yo DD is not too far behind, although I'm not going to be very good at tolerating that. :)

      I've always done a holiday newsletter, but at the expense of risking being too self-indulgent. We try to make it a fun read instead of a laundry list of what we did this year. We don't get very many of them, if any at all, so I hope people tolerate our newsletter and don't think we're too full of ourselves!

      I have actually slept in the last few nights *AND* not had late night dates with my laptop! I decided a few days off from typing would actually be good for me, for once. I'll get back on track in the New Year! Thanks for reading, Janna!

      Delete