Dear Ben

Ah, Ben. Remember how well I handled that tricky situation over the weekend? Such grace, such poise, such maturity– you were proud of me, admit it, “My mom is finally growing up!”.

Well, I crashed on Monday. Random newspaper headlines made me cry and just cleaning up the house felt like an enormous effort. I tell you this not to elicit sympathy (’cause now it’s Tuesday and I’m feeling much better) but simply to illustrate the life lesson that mental and emotional tasks are exhausting too. I wouldn’t run a marathon and expect to click off eight miles on Monday. So don’t be frustrated if you sail brilliantly through a round of midterms just to find that you can’t spell your name the next day (it’s a very tricky surname after all).


Now don’t be lecturing me for adding one more activity to our schedule, but Gabriel started Aikido (‘the practice of peace’) yesterday. C’mon, you know he’s never going to be a great soccer player. He doesn’t have a competitive molecule in his body. And the outfit is really cute. Besides, he’s with Will and we have a carpool.


Inspired by this wave of Asian athleticism, Xander and Hans have been playing Sumo wrestlers in the basement. I don’t even pretend to understand their rules.


Mary has been trying to keep our rules for her of no biting, no kicking, no licking, no hitting, no pinching. For the most part she’s successful, but she struggles enough with squeezing her brothers skin between her little fingers that Gabe suggested we buy her a pinching post much like a scratching post for a kitty.

a cute photo to make up for telling you that

A grand Playmobil revival has been taking place in the basement and kitchen. Why yes, that IS a moose and a gorilla pulling your trusty old stagecoach. Remember the days when I kept every Playmobil set neatly segregated?– yeah, about 12 years ago.


Another breeze from your childhood– If Jesus Came to My House — drifted in for family home evening last night. I mention this just in case you need an example of brilliant Christian literature for your religion class (not kidding). Even the chickens were inspired, and gathered on the windowsill to hear the sweet story.

You know I don’t like using flash, but who could resist this photo?

Study hard. Sleep lots. Stephanie gave me the recipe for caramel bars so I’ll bring you a pan this weekend.

Love, Mom

September 17, 2010
September 26, 2010



  1. Sarah

    September 22, 2010

    Hey I want the recipe for caramel bars too!

  2. Claudia

    September 22, 2010

    We are SO overdue for some girlfriend time!

    I am loving your letters to Ben. Love sneaking a peak into my kind of “normal”.

    I am kidnapping you sometime this week, even if it means 5 minutes of laying on the tramp out back and catching up.

    Love you sweetie.

  3. Tasha

    September 22, 2010

    My little brother has been doing Akido for a couple years and just loves it. He too picked flowers in the soccer field and isn’t competitive in the least. It has given him a lot of confidence. Hope Gabe enjoys it too!

    And keep posting these “letters.” I love ’em. :]

  4. Sue

    September 22, 2010

    I bet he loves reading these.


  5. Haddock

    September 22, 2010

    Some lovely photographs here.
    (like his hair cut)

  6. Cath

    September 23, 2010

    These letters are always endearing. The sumo stomach made me laugh out loud. And Mary’s “rules” reminded me of a conversation three five year old girls had in my car on the way to dance. “I don’t suck my thumb anymore” says Eliza. “I don’t suck mine either” says Jane. “But I do pick my nose.” There’s honesty for you!! I couldn’t stop laughing. See you Friday AM. You are an exceptional mommy.

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