November 30, 2013

Our Annual Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

What with the connectivity of Facebook, email, and Skype, it's easy to forget that you aren't here, at our fingertips as it were, day after day. It is remarkable to feel so connected, and I regret that in many ways it has only distanced us further. A passing awareness of the events one has in life is not the same as sharing something real. I hope this letter can be that to all of you.

SI and DD turned four years old in October. This change has been most profound to SI, who daily begins some remembrance with, "A long, long time ago, when I was three years old..." At recess in preschool she found a dried pod on the ground. She extracted several seeds and insisted on planting them in class. Her teachers tried to prepare her for disappointment, but SI vigilantly watered them. And, like the carrot seed, something came up! Three mystery trees sprouted, and each morning at school she takes pride in measuring their growth.

Being four is a lot of work. The girls understand that
with the privileges they enjoy as“big girls,” they have additional duties. These include sharing their room with RH, not taking toys to the dinner table, and making their own beds. Some days SI sighs and tell me she wishes she could still be three, unfettered by responsibility. But she bears her burdens well enough.

DD relishes the freedom of four-dom. She considers her top bunk a sacred trust and a source of endless pride. She has a burgeoning dramatic streak- already she's staging, directing, and narrating theatrical productions of nursery rhymes. My favorite is "Little Bunny Foo-Foo." She dresses in her finest gowns, adorns SI with wings and a magic wand to play the Good Fairy, and puts bunny ears on RH- tasking her with the titular role. In fact, DD's constant encouragement of her baby sister is one of her sweetest qualities. She makes faces at RH from her top bunk, and RH squeals in delight whenever her mentor appears. Even if it IS nap time.

After more than six months of twice weekly physical therapy, RH is finally walking! Perhaps the most beautiful sight I've seen all year is RH, walking into a room with book in hand, greeting everyone with a dimpled smile and crystal clear, "Hello!" She's a delight to feed, eating everything and declaring nearly all of it satisfactory. And she loves nothing more than a good book- a child after my own heart! She also has more than a passing obsession with Batman and the Care Bears.

It's been an educational year for all of us. M has returned once more to night school, in preparation for his licensing exam. Over a summer of hosting a Spanish teenager I've learned that, yes, I'm an adult. I've also figured out that writing, editing, querying, and publishing an entire book in three months is at the very least ambitious and realistically naive to the extreme. That said, the process is going well. With the support of the Huffington Post and the NCEES, M and I expect big things in the coming year.

This season is a delight. My favorite part is when the first cards come in the mail. I take down the pictures of friends, family, children, vacations, dogs, weddings, and babies all over my kitchen. Then I set to the joyful task of re-decorating with a new set of faces, happier and a little older than the year before. Your faces grace our walls year round, far flung though you may be.

We wish you everything for your 2014 we wish for ourselves. Growth, success, learning new things, and finding joy and wonder in every day. And most importantly, we wish you the constant knowledge that you are loved. A happy holiday season to all of you.

You are always in our hearts,
The SuperMommy Family

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