Before blogs, families had to use the postal system to air their laundry. My Dad managed to get a January or February Christmas letter off somewhat annually. As it turns out, these make a pretty neat summary of my childhood.
[This year] began on May 25 with the birth of A– E–. We have little recall of events prior to that date. The day was as sunny, beautiful and fragrant as the baby it brought. A– is an eager little person whose curiosity, determination and brute strength already challenge her brother’s well established domain. She is something unusual for [our family]–BIG! [Ed. note: that was short lived :(]
Nineteen month A– is under the impression that she can do everything [her brother] can. She too is taking swimming lessons and spends more time underwater than [her brother]. She can also turn a decent somersault. Her social life revolves around her big brother, and she has become something of a first grade groupie. Her vocabulary increases daily. Favorite expressions are: “Hi Daddy!” (big smile), “where’s [her brother]?” (puzzled look), and “Oh-oh! What happened?” (pointing).
Three-year-old A– has joined the lunchbox set. She loves [her daycare], which she attends full time. A– is the truly modern woman — bossy, opinionated, irresistible, smart, constantly talking, and liberated enough to wear skirts and play with “babies”. [Ed. note: that was short lived, too.] Like [her brother], she has started gymnastics lessons where she displays remarkable coordination and a curvaceous body. [Ed. note: Really??]
A– is four and a half (which is ever so much older than four). She learned to swim this summer and goes to the local pool every week with her Dad. She is the most enthusiastic, up beat, demanding person we know. She is also the only person we know who can look regal with mud on her face and holes in her tights.
A– is the most cooperative and agreeable 5 year-old one could ask for despite the fact that she won’t comb her hair, wear her new shirts, go to bed before 9:30 or get up in time for school. [Ed. note: all still accurate.] Somehow, even though she is the smallest, our life seems to revolve around her.
A– is in the second grade and hasn’t worn a dress in about two years. She claims to be an alien from some remote galaxy. [Ed. note: I think this is weird, but my gender therapist says it’s not uncommon for trans kids to think they’re aliens or animals. Who knew?] This may account for her unique (for [this family] at least) ability to sit down and accomplish whatever she wishes to get done. She has become an avid reader and loves optical illusions, puzzles, and paradoxes. (This sentence is false.)
A– is having fun in the third grade. (She has fun at everything.) She is an avid reader and prolific writer. This summer she ditched her parents for four weeks in favor of vacations with grandparents, cousins, and [her brother]. A high point in her year was her evening at the ballet. She even wore a dress and was transported in a chauffeured limousine.
A– is more flamboyant than ever. Her vivid imagination and creativity make us certain she’ll be a famous writer–Except that the quality of her handwriting suggests that her mother’s profession [Ed. note: medicine] may be the only possibility. She has determination. One Saturday A– taught herself to ride her bicycle. Sunder she took her dad for a 10 mile bike ride. There was one spill, but [her dad’s] bruise went away in a couple of weeks.
A– gets more like herself every day. [Ed. note: still working on that.] (Lucky us!) As a fifth grader she has taken up the flute. The first piece she taught herself was Ode to Joy. She has made a year’s progress in two months because practicing is “so fun!” Camp was a lot better this summer than last. She didn’t even get homesick a little bit. A– brings happiness to all her friends, family, and teachers.
[Ed. note: this year’s was written by me and my brother.] A– managed to get away this year several times. In May, she went to camp in Maine, with her fifth grade class. She says her favorite part was the swamp walk. During the summer, it was off to her third year at camp in New Hampshire. When she wasn’t waterskiing, swimming, or shooting arrows, she found time to write to everyone except her family. In August, she took [her brother] on a trip to San Francisco with their aunt and cousin.
A– entered the seventh grade at junior high and no one has been able to use the phone since. She spend a month at camp this summer to recover from the loss of her best friend, who moved to Toronto.
[Ed. note: My mom did this rhyming one, which successfully sank the venture altogether.] A–‘s our phone queen. The eighth grade’s soooo boring. Harvard Square is oft where she goes. To fill up the hours, She strums, flutes and showers, And spends weekends with groupies and beaus. [Ed. note: that might have been true about the beaus, but very short lived.]