Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Happy Everything

Happy Christmas and New Year and no alarm clocks!

2016 is coming to a close, and we Greens are off to savor just us three. We're bringing paper and pens to make lists and plans and goals. Every year has its cycles of ups and downs, closed and open doors, discoveries and questions. We had our irritations: The colds never seemed to end. Oscar struggled with early school mornings and long school days. I transitioned a business. Patrick and I both pretended turning 40 didn't bother us until we admitted that it did. But we also had some victories: OGG revealed he has hiking stamina. My body cooperated with long distance running. Oscar lost his first tooth; Patrick published his first book.

I adore the holiday cards coming our way. Cheerful messages. People I want to hug. Stories I want to hear. Everyone beams---happy faces and coordinating clothes. But I always wish I knew what was irritating too. What was funny. What was unexpected and what was hopeful. Many years ago a dear friend said that every time she saw us, she was going to ask how our marriage was. There have been a couple times when that was asked, and Patrick and I took deep breaths. There have been far more relaxed times when that was asked---and we gushed praises. Too often, as one who struggles with small talk, I avoid initiating questions. But her frankness challenged me to be a friend and hurdle over the chit-chat that confuses to ask what is good and what is hard. I cherish those answers.

As our tribe of three, we're off to talk about those answers. We'll also eat some great Pho and drink French wine and take bicycle rides through rice paddies. We will spend time asking and listening and hopefully laughing.

Family photos are not our gift. That would require us all to be showered at the same time and also looking in the same direction while not sweating profusely or swatting a mosquito. Never gonna happen. So, this will have to do: