Dear Ben


Dearest, darlingest Benny-boy,

The entire valley is giddy with spring fever. Today was the first sunny Saturday of the year, and everywhere I went (Home Depot three times, IFA, the grocery store) people were laughing, grinning and practically skipping down the aisles. Every child in the neighborhood was out jumping on trampolines, circling the block on their bicycles and coloring driveways with pastel chalk drawings.

In typical fashion, we began our spring break with lots and lots of yardwork. The boys built a fence around the garden while Mary and I pulled weeds and nestled bleeding hearts and ranunculus into our pots. At Stefan’s request, we planted forget-me-nots. Did you know those are his favorites? I didn’t.


Succumbing to Gabe’s pleas, we bought two more chicks: tiny little bantams that weigh only 16 grams each. I only took a few photos because we didn’t want to manhandle them, but Gabe shirked the yardwork and spent most of the day cooing over the new babies.

“Hey chick, you want a ride?”


At lunchtime, I made tuna melts which made everyone ecstatic and then a bit melancholy– “We’re doing all of Ben’s favorite things,” Xander sniffed, “using power tools with Dad, eating tuna melts, planting… and tonight we’re watching the new Harry Potter movie.” (which just came out on DVD, you probably didn’t know)


And though his words made me miss you, they also made me smile. I’m pleased that I’ve raised a family of homebodies– kids that think tuna melts, power tools and microwave popcorn while watching a DVD are the height of pleasure.

Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-Dum on the drill. I won’t say which is which.

Lifting her hair and turning to me, Mary asked me to take off her newly acquired locket because she didn’t want it to get dirty as we planted, “But it’s OK, Mom,” she assured me, “I’ll still think about Ben when it’s off. I think about him pretty much all the time.”


As do I.

Love you,


p.s. on second thought, I don’t think I’ll send this letter; it became infested with homesickness germs.

April 13, 2011
April 19, 2011



  1. jen

    April 18, 2011

    I’m new to your blog (though I’ve read through your archives). You have an amazing family. I hope my son turns out as well as your boys have.


  2. Cath

    April 18, 2011

    So precious. I love the boys on the drill, the new chicks, and Mary’s locket. Your world makes me happy.

  3. Selwyn

    April 18, 2011

    Your post made me miss you guys more than usual!

    Hugs to you all! (And I have no idea what a tuna melt is!)

  4. Lizzy

    April 18, 2011

    dude, I LOVE hanging out at home. it’s a good thing too, since i have no friends. (maybe that’s why? friends could never compete with my family.) wish i could be there too.looking forward to seeing at least you.
    p.s. i could see hans’ braces– total giveaway.

  5. Tracy

    April 19, 2011

    From one homebody to another. LOVE YOU.

    P.S. I think you’ll need a bigger coop.

  6. Tifani

    April 21, 2011

    So will Ben miss the last HP movie when it comes out this summer?

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