Every year (well mostly) I write some sort of brief update that we call the Christmas Letter and send out with our Christmas cards. I’ve been madly in the weeds over the holidays and when I have had free time I’ve decided to spend it doing pretty much nothing, since I’ve got to be off to work again in the new year and wanted to relish the remnants of my leave. I will say that I’ve had a lot of time for introspection and self-examination during my leave/the holidays and I’ve really discovered quite a bit about myself and the way I operate. I feel much better for it, and I’ve got some ideas for the new year. No time to delve right now though, so by way of a copout, here’s this years ‘Christmas Letter’ in it’s entirety. Apologies to those of you who received a hardcopy verison, you can go browse for after-Christmas internet deals now…
Lyn’s been hassling me for 2 weeks to write the Christmas letter. I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with some sort of clever ‘theme’ or presentation and I’ve come up empty, I mean, it’s not like I’m a graphic designer or anything. I started on a few different tangents but wasn’t able to maintain the attention, time or patience (go figure) to see any of them to fruition, so in the end, looks like you’ll get the formulaic rundown of what everybody’s doing. As Lyn says to the kids, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” Onward.
We had a new addition to the roster this year. Olivia Lyne was born on September 12th and is doing well. Initially we had some real problems with colic, but we’ve played musical food sources and played with combinations of breast milk, regular and ‘sensitive’ formula, and – of course, scotch – and we’ve finally found the magic formula. She’s finally pretty much settled in and as a bonus, we now have a reason to keep lots of scotch on hand. On the downside, she’s turned out to be a bit of a scotch snob, preferring only older, really expensive double malts. Women. Go figure. She’s a big baby (was 9 pounds at birth) and is already pushing the limit wearing size 6 month clothes at 3 months. It’s probably a good thing, very Darwinian, as she’ll need the size to stand up to her older brother and make it out alive.
Colin is 18 months old now and dabbles with Darwinian theory every day by testing the premise that humans don’t abandon their offspring. He’s a big kid for his age too, and must be advanced, because even though he’s only a year and a half old, he’s already exhibiting ‘terrible two’ tendencies. His favourite pastimes include leaving toys all over the house, removing ALL the cushions from the couch, testing his cranium resiliency by hurling himself from various pieces of furniture and putting all manner of items into the kitchen trash – with the exception of actual trash. His vocabulary is still pretty limited; mama, dada, tantu (thank you), wassat (what’s that). In addition, if you show him a lion or tiger it will illicit a ‘rawwwrrrrrr!’ In keeping with the Darwin theme, Colin demonstrates his ties to his primate ancestors by refusing to wear socks, shoes or slippers of any kind for a period of more than 7 minutes. Anyone needing evidence of our emergence from apes need not look any further than my perpetually barefooted boy.
Emma started school this year (well, full-time school anyway) and is a full blown Kindergartner now. She enjoys being a ‘big sister’ now that Colin and Olivia are around and particularly likes to ‘read’ books and stories to Olivia. Emma digs horses and she attended a week long horse riding camp and is taking riding lessons once a week. The riding lessons will be ending in January, but then we’re looking to get her into some ice-skating lessons. Emma really enjoys drawing pictures and doing crafts.
Julia has entered the world of second grade and is completely into the horse thing as well – probably more so than Emma. She too attended summer riding camp and has been taking lessons once a week. Any and all toys, books, videos that she’s into either pertain to horses, are about horses or feature an image of a horse. She does some other stuff too. She’s in the chorus at school and recently sang the national anthem at a high school hockey game with them. She still loves to draw and do crafts and also has been getting a kick out of helping around the house more, including doing some cooking.
Lyn continues to ‘hang out at home and raise the kids’. When I meet people and they ask me “Does your wife work?” I always say, “She’s a stay at home mom.” They usually follow with “So she doesn’t work outside the home.” I counter with, “We’ve got four kids, there’s PLENTY of work to be done within the home – I don’t think she feels compelled to seek out MORE work elsewhere. I’m glad she’s there to do it. I got a day job so I could get out.” In spite of all the work that she does, Lyn still finds time once in awhile for her more recreational pursuits including knitting, tending to her African violets and working in the garden and around the yard. She’s recently considered picking up a weaving loom to continue weaving (she took a class when we lived in Virginia) and we still banter about the idea of her starting some kind of business of her own selling crafts. I keep telling her she should make hand-knitted sweaters with a pocket in which to grow an african violet or fresh vegetables and a woven, sewn-on napkin/bib for the dinner table. She doesn’t think they’ll catch on.
I’m still doing my breadwinning thang at Goose Lane Editions (a book publisher and graphic design firm) and I also am still turning out freelance work as well. Somewhere in the back of my head I harbour thoughts of opening my own business and saying ‘damn the man’. We’ll see. In the meantime I continue to find various ways to spend free time – when there is some – hockey, the bike (though I haven’t been on as much as I’d like). I’m trying to teach myself to play guitar – and I’m putting my would be beer money into a jar for a set of drums. It’s been at least 12 years since I owned a kit and having one again would be awesome – I just need to finish gutting and re-doing my entire basement to have room for ‘em. Oh well, I can’t complain I’ve got nothing to do.
Here’s hoping that this letter finds you and yours well this holiday season and best wishes in the New Year!
— Kent, Lyn, Julia, Emma, Colin & Olivia