I suppose if you were to look back at letters written since 2001, you’d see that bit by bit the kids were entrusted with more and more information of a serious tone and nature. What began as a way to keep them occupied in school made an upward turn. As Ellen and Reid matured, the pages grew up, too. Their rise to adulthood meant they would read and see more items that mirror their ability to process and handle such material. If anything, my task to draw the veil open ever wider has accelerated the past few years. The recent few weeks have been testament to their abilities to cope. They have experienced their own age of enlightenment for some time now.
They saw all the news they needed to see; changes in the lives of friends and family, economics and politics, hardship and anxiety, disappointments and elation. The Pollyanna view that parents serve their children best by shielding them from the hard knocks of life and therefore only relate the good and wholesome holds no water. Life is not an exercise in fair weather. Our days are beset by storms and dark clouds. Families deal with reality and there’s no earthly reason that, as children move toward self sufficiency, that they shouldn’t join the rest of us at the table of adulthood to take the good with the bad. We’ve had our share of bad in recent times, but the pendulum swings to both sides and no doubt it will return us soon enough to better days.
It is Way Back Wednesday. Here’s a note from 2007.
June 11, 2007
Reid/Ellen: 108 holes of golf is enough for me. It seems like hardly any shots were struck crisply and with purpose. I never want to do that again as long as I live. Arizona is really nice (with temps in the mid 90’s, it wasn’t nearly as hot as June can be) but I’ll stick closer to home. But the company was good, and my roommate, Sam P_______, was one of the real reasons for going. He’s a great guy and lots of fun to be around. Did see one small rattlesnake and some local wild pigs called javalenas. Other guys saw a humongous rattler about 7’ long and as big around as their forearms. He was on a cart path, coiled and ready to strike, only to slither away. I’d poke around in the desert for stray golf balls, ignoring the advice of people to stay away from where the snakes are. The desert is very nice, but you wonder aloud how long Phoenix would last without water. The answer: not very long. Without exaggeration, you could drive on the freeway for 75-80 minutes and you wouldn’t leave the city. It’s that big.
Took the red eye home from Phoenix at 1:20 Saturday morning. Connected in Houston and got home about 10:45. I like the smaller jets, but they’re not much for sleeping. The seats don’t push back very far, the foot room is sparse, and the pillows are minuscule and you don’t know who used it before you did. I made up for it yesterday with a 3 hour nap.
Some sad news in the neighborhood. Just outside our front entrance, some 15-16 year old kids were speeding Saturday around midnight. The driver lost control, they hit a tree, and one of the kids died and the others were severely injured. It’s nothing short of a tragedy. An inexperienced young driver who simply was beyond his skill set, and now a family has to pay for the rest of their days.
Went out Saturday night back to Il Porto, the Italian place we noshed at when you both were here. The food was fabulous. Salmon piccatta. That spread they serve with bread, you know, the white beans with olive oil and basil, is just absolutely divine. You could make a meal out of that.
Reid, glad to hear about the breakfast bread. That really does the trick in the mornings. You’ll be able to make that forever. Whipped up some French loaves Saturday. Made some French toast with it yesterday and gave some away. Still a loaf to spare, too. You ought to try to make some bruschetta with chopped up tomatoes, some mozzarella, olive oil and basil. Singe it lightly under the broiler. Now, that’s eating.
This will be a tough week for work. Haven’t opened my emails yet, but guessing somewhere in the vicinity of a few hundred. Email is a bad deal as it always requires an answer or some element of work. I liked the old days a whole lot better when you – gasp! – literally picked up the phone and talked to someone. You could get more done. We have a great bank, but if we could just loosen the grip of email a bit…
Went to the grocery store last night at 10:00. That’s the best time to shop since it’s not crowded and I can mosey up and down the aisles quickly. Plus, no one is stealing my cart. That hasn’t happened in a while. Bought no sweets or salty items. Trying to stick to a diet and if that stuff is around, I’ll eat it. Took some ‘burger out of the freezer this morning for pasta tonight. Got a meeting about marathons tonight at 7:00. We’ve got about 30 people signed up.
Well, off to the races. Glad Chicago went well, EB. Wedding season will be over soon enough.