Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas Form Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm sorry this letter is so late in arriving. I was so busy spending a joyous holiday season with my family that I'm only just now finding the time to write. True, a more dedicated stay at home mom/homemaker would have completed this project in October and be scrap booking about the holidays by now, but I'm still honing my skills. I know I will have finally mastered this role once we get a minivan. For now, I will make due with my Jeep Cherokee and soon-to-be biodiesel Mercedes. I know, I know, flirting with Earth Mama may cost me in my journey to Soccer Mom. I'm considering my options.

Speaking of cars, we had a fun little New Year's Eve adventure. We visited our good friends and Luke's godparents in North Carolina after Christmas--a sweet visit peppered with Luke screaming, "I hate my godparents!" here and there--and on our way home in the quaint town of Williamsburg, Kentucky, our car started lurching and clunking. We ended up renting a huge moving truck and pulling our car behind us on a car carrier. You see, the smaller moving vans don't have bench seats, and the bench seat was a must so that we could spend some quality time together on our six-hour drive home.

In this last year, Craig has begun a teaching-only postdoc, which is his dream job. As he was spending the last eight years getting his PhD, he was fueled by the thought that he might land a temporary job teaching three, 200-student calculus classes--every mathematician's dream! Beyond work, Craig always has a project or five up his sleeve. He has spent countless hours and thousands of dollars setting up a wood shop in 3/4 of our basement. I can't wait until he makes something. Of course, he has both of our broken down cars to keep him busy also.

Luke continues to be a lively and creative child. He has been really into legos lately, and also into crying for up to an hour and screaming, "I had a horrible Christmas!" It really keeps him busy. He also sometimes adds, "No one loves me! I don't even want to be a part of this family!" We are excited that he is beginning to perfect these melodramatics now, so that he will be well prepared when the teen years arrive. Luke has also been occupying himself with anxiety-induced sore throats as he refuses to go to school or to bed at night. When he does go to school, though, it has been going well. He is on his best behavior there these days so that he can conserve his strength for later in the day when mommy and daddy are around.

Henry is our wild, athletic guy who has miraculously not yet landed in the emergency room. He loves insisting on doing everything himself, which was particularly exciting when we were on a long and wet hike in North Carolina. We think he may have broken his finger. In other Henry news, he is still not night weaned! But we are making slow and steady progress. After a year, we are down to one nursing per night. We can't rush him, you know, as he is only two and a half.

We are extremely proud of how we are doing with the boys' religious education. Luke refuses to attend Sunday school anymore since the last time he attended he was put in the corner by the little old lady substitute for saying "dung," and "poop" too many times. It was reported that when she asked him where he learned those words he said, "My brother. No, my dad." We are very proud of him for deciding to tell the truth. Henry is showing an extremely advanced understanding of theological and reproductive matters for his age. He asked me, on Christmas Eve, "Mom, where baby Jesus now? In Santa's big belly?"

I am enjoying this journey to Soccer Mom in this suburb that we live in. I believe I have made a name for myself here--a woman I recently met told me that I might like her neighbor "who is into Sierra Club and, you know, that kind of stuff." I continue to slowly write a little each day, and just received a rejection letter last week. This means I am a true writer! Craig very sweetly gave me a laptop for Christmas so that I could have more flexibility with my writing, although I keep knocking the touch pad with my hand and messing up what I have written. This letter has taken me eight hours. But I continue to persevere!

May you all be as blessed as we are!

Ser and Family


Jenny said...


This is a wonderful, wonderful letter and I'm almost crying I'm laughing so hard! I think you are an amazing, funny writer--could you be the Orthodox world's next Anne Lamott?


Beck said...

"I hate my godparents."
That photo.
My gosh, I am laughing so hard. Genius.

Julia said...

Ser, you've outdone yourself this time.

Anonymous said...

This letter gets a VERY HIGH SCORE INDEED. Baby Jesus in Santa's big belly! HA HA HA HA HA!

marji said...

Ser, I just had to read this again. Your calm tone belies the hilarity that looking back affords us. The photo, though, is the best. No one could pose a more appropriate photo. Thanks for keeping your wit and pen honed to such a sharp point! -- Marji

Molly Sabourin said...

Dear Ser,

As a mother, I appreciate your writing because it is so very honest and yet so filled with love. Of course it is hard to raise children! Of course we need each other to vent, to relate, to be reminded of why our job is such a salvific one. You help us laugh and stay inspired to not give up even when we really sometimes want to.

From a purely artistic standpoint, I love your writing "voice" and can see it growing stronger all the time. Your style is engaging and unfussy. I am easily drawn into the stories you tell - never sidetracked by an overuse of descriptive words or too much peripheral information. I want to encourage you, for your sake and ours, to keep at it!

Sorry this is a bit lengthy!



Ser said...

Thanks, everyone, for such supportive comments. It is always a little scary to put this kind of stuff out there, because, first of all, I'm afraid people may misunderstand my sarcasm and, second of all, I'm afraid I will get a comment like, "Have you thought of having Luke evaluated for early onset bipolar?"

Molly (and everyone)--you can never leave too long a comment! I appreciate it all.