Saturday, January 15, 2011

My work's done here

Spent the morning writing notes on our yearly Christmas New Year's letters, which in our case, is more like a tri-yearly letter.  The last letter I wrote was sent co-incidentally about two months before I began this blog.  You know, this blog, in which I pour out my life and musings in unequal abandon on an almost daily basis.  By the time the next Christmas/holiday/New Year came around, and all those letters came pouring in, I couldn't think of anything to say about my children, Beve or me that I hadn't said about two-hundred times before.  So I let it slip that year.  Determined that by Christmas of 2009, I'd certainly be able to craft a reasonable letter. HA!  That year, Beve's sister had just died, we were making myriad trips out to the peninsula and various retirement complexes in preparation for the elders' move here, then moving the elders, and by the time we got through all that, I was so busy caring for the elders all thoughts of a New Years' letter were gone forever.  Or at least until this year.

So this year, I started early.  And by early, I mean a couple of days before Christmas.  And by started, I mean asking, then nagging E to write the letter for me.  See, my way out of my holiday letter writer's block, I'd determined, was to have someone else write it.  E, to be precise.  E writes her own blog.  Both my daughters do.  Fine writers, both of them.  E writes more frequently than SK (she also has a bit--just a tad bit!--more time than SK) so I've become quite familiar with E's style over the last few years.  That style is dry, self-deprecating, and almost always strikes my fancy/funny bone.  SK's ponderings are deeper, full of questionings about her future, her decisions, sleep (or the lack thereof), and life itself.  SK is definitely my child.  (J, by the way, has also started a blog or two a few times, and he's so stinkin' cerebral that his short essays are sometimes pretty deep.  Even for me...which sounds like I'm the measure of depth, which I'm not.  My point is, he tends to leave off writing after a few posts, then has to start another a few months later, but they're always interesting and worth reading--if he'd just keep writing.)

The bottom line is that all my kids write, which means my job is done here.  No, not really, but their writing ability was important to me.  Fundamentally important. When E was in high school, I'd read her papers, and was shocked that she was getting the grades she was, because I felt she could improve.  So...I edited her papers.  Yes, I did.  I'm not ashamed of it.  If those English teachers weren't going to demand it, I was.  And when the other two reached high school, the same excellence was demanded of them--by their English-teaching mother, and now and then, by their English teachers.  It's served them well enough.  The ability to write is a necessary tool, I believe, and not merely of the proletariat.  I mean, Beve certainly didn't expect writing to be an important component of his career, but it certainly has been.  How many people out there are as surprised as he is by the amount of writing required in their profession?

Wow, I think I might be standing on a soapbox here.

 Now for your rebuttal:
OK, so those of you who read this blog are wondering why it is then that I sometimes don't use complete sentences when I write, why I so obviously break rules of grammar.  Let me tell you:  I break them with purpose.  I break the rules because I can. I wouldn't break them in a formal letter, technical document or research document, but here, on my blog, I can/will with impunity.  Because every phrase has meaning.  Every time I create a word phrase I draw attention to it.  It's only by knowing the rules that a person can break the rules.   And because it's fun.  Yep, it's just plain fun to write this way. To stick it in the eye of grammatical rules, so to speak.  I enjoy it.  And I think my adult children have learned to enjoy writing enough that they understand how to use, when to break, and when to manipulate the rules of their mother-tongue to their advantage.  E's becoming very good at it.  She practices it often on her blog.

So I asked her to write our Christmas letter.  And she did.  Thankfully.  Entertainingly.  Sometimes I'm a little heavy-handed with things, and her light touch was exactly what we needed about now.  Not just because I couldn't bear to write it, but who the heck could bear to read what I might have to write at the end of such a season?  Not me, thank you very much.  Daily, small doses, that's about enough of me that even I can handle.

Check out E's blog;  You can get to it via the link at the side: Random Stupidness.  And SK's: Murmurs of Me.

P.S. This post was brought to you by a completely objective mother.


Elle said...

I like the way all the three of you write! You all have your own tricks you use to spice up your writing.

jeskmom said...

I like the way you write, too. I can take no credit for it, but am glad you're such a proficient and creative writer...and even that you're thinking in English (though it's causing havoc in your life right now!).