Small Wonders: Checking off 'catching up' from the list

December 08, 2012|By Patrick Caneday

I hate people sometimes.

This year it was the Berrys from Seattle. A dear, lifelong friend, her husband and their two sickeningly adorable, wide-eyed, precocious sons. Theirs was the first Christmas card we received this year: snapshots of a day at the lake, brief notes about the boys (ages 4.5 and 7.75 to the decimal point), wishes of joy and prosperity.

And it came in November.

Man, I hate them.

It's a hatred borne of unshakable love, deep respect and a pinch of jealousy.

How can anyone, let alone parents with multiple jobs, countless responsibilities and school-age sucklings, get Christmas cards out before December? It's a 50-50 shot we'll get our annual salutations out at all each year.


So this blend of guilt and peer pressure sends me to my keyboard to bid you good tidings this Christmas Season; to enlighten you on the personal trivialities of my life you never asked to hear.

Writing it here also saves me on postage and a trip to Costco to have cards printed. If you must see pictures, friend me on Facebook.

The year 2012 started like every other: Ten pounds heavier and deeply in debt after holiday spending on things forgotten by President's Day.

Whenever we thought we were getting ahead, something came up to remind us we're no different than anyone else. We've just finished paying off the Sears bill for myriad appliances purchased to replace those that decided to leave this Earth during a particularly nasty Mercury Retrograde (a diagnosis from one of my more psychically attuned friends).

I joined a gym. Now, instead of sweatin' to the oldies, I sweat to the beat of techno music in a steamy spin class, pull muscles picking up free weights rather than socks, and discover rare, endorphin-induced trances in which it feels like everything is going to be OK. Go, me!

Thing 1 and Thing 2, our daughters, continue to grow... and grow tired of being called Things 1 and 2. At 11 and 9, respectively, you would too, I guess, if year after year smiling, well-intentioned strangers walked up to you in public asking which Dr. Seuss character you were named after.

Their days are filled with school, friends, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, iPods, ignoring their parents and leaving wet towels on the floor. We're both relieved and angered when they climb atop the refrigerator to fetch themselves something to eat. We continue to fend off pleas for cellphones (pray for us), and are still grateful they're sleeping through the night.

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