Wednesday, June 8, 2011

From Jared to his Sisters

Today I’m posting a bit of the letter my 19 year old son wrote to his sisters for their 16th birthday. I’m sharing it because I think it’s darling and it reminds me of all the love in my life. Love doesn’t have a price and can’t be compensated for in any monetary way. Sometimes I forget that. More on that thought after Jared’s letter.

Fine. I guess you can go on ‘a’ date. One. I guess that’s okay, but first your date has to send in an application to me and then in my due time I’ll either approve or disapprove his request.
Requirements for application are as follows:
1 full paged paper explaining:
Why he wants to date you
Where you’re going
Who he is (cross that out, that doesn’t matter)
Who else is coming
Length of date
5 pictures of him
1 picture of the two of you together and if you look unhappy, he automatically fails.

Isn’t he awesome? I miss him. I’m sure my girls miss him, too, but they’re probably a little relieved that they don’t have him breathing down any guy’s neck. Some poor guy wouldn’t want the pressure of trying to impress not only my daughter, but also her hostile brother.

So, back to being impressive. Or not. Last night I went to my daughter’s choir banquet and sat next to a lovely woman and we shared our summer plans. Me: I’m taking my family to my dad’s 90th birthday party and if I don’t get motivated and find a place to stay, we’ll be camping on my dad’s lawn. And since he lives in Washington state, there’s a good chance of rain. Lovely woman: I’m going to 7 countries. (I’m not exaggerating.)

This reminds me of the time I went shopping with a friend. We drove for thirty minutes to go to store that carries long shorts (some people, like me, just look better with covered legs). My friend bought 5 pairs of shorts. I didn’t buy any for reasons that I don’t wish to share. I knew it was a wise decision, because after a few weeks I was back to my normal size and 5 pairs of baggy shorts are 5 pairs too many. Still, it made me cranky at the time.

Another shopping trip. A friend and I went to our favorite store’s 70% off sale. I wanted a belt that I’d seen earlier. I found the coveted belt and sure enough, it was 70% off. I should have been jubilant, victorious even, but no. My friend bought 7pairs of shoes. In my heart, I knew I didn’t need 7 pairs of shoes. I needed a belt, and yet as we walked through the mall carrying our bags, I envied her shoes.

At my dad’s birthday party, we’ll celebrate a life well lived. A life full of love. He hasn’t ever been shopping in Istanbul and he’s never surfed in Nicaragua. I’m pretty sure he isn’t interested in seven pairs of designer shoes or shorts of any length. But, he’d approve of Jared’s letter to his sisters.

Because brothers and sisters, parents and children, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews…This is the sort of thing that you just can’t have too much of and at the end of the day, at the end of a long life, they’re the only things that matter.


  1. This summer we are making our pilgrimage back to see my parents, too. Every year I watch my sisters, and others, take off to luxurious and exotic places and I think of our crew driving to the midwest to see family. My Dad turns 80 this summer and I'm excited to be there with him. None of those exotic trips can hold a candle to being with family and I wouldn't trade my vacations for anything. Your son sounds wonderful.

  2. I have been shopping in Istanbul, and it is not as heart-warming as hearing Dad laugh at one of his "funny" jokes, or seeing him bounce a great grandchild on his knee. I can't wait for the family reunion!

  3. I love that letter from Jared. Purely awesome.