“Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Tim falls away but these small hours
These small hours still remain.”
Dear Whitney, Tom, and Hadley—
February vacation is over, and with a bit of sadness, we will enter back into our routines this morning. I want to remember this week, and hold it close. The years will blend together, but one of my greatest wishes is that you will look back on our family vacations together with deep fondness. Whether we stay home or jet-set miles away doesn’t really matter, so long as we can abandon our hectic schedules from time to time and just be together as a family.
There are things I hope you will remember about this week, and our time in Vermont. Tom, watching you master the chairlift with your friend Hans was so impressive. I loved hearing you yell, “slow it down!!” to the attendant as the rusty green chair came speeding around the corner to escort you up the hill. Whitney, seeing you dressed at 7:00 with your ski pack, ready to face a new day of top to bottom runs, reminded me of how much joie de vivre you truly have. Hadley, you patiently waited many minutes for a nervous friend to come down the hill, telling me how disappointed you would be if she could not ski with you. Your compassionate side touches me in abundant ways lately, sometimes with a heartfelt sincerity and sometimes with your silly humor.
Riding to Bromley all week, we sang our “kids faves”, the compilation Dad put together for you. Belting out “Downeaster Alexa” and “Who Let The Dogs Out?” as we wound around country roads pumped our adrenaline as we collectively looked forward to the day. We even managed to come to an agreement to skip past “Baby” by Justin Bieber, which Tom now finds offensive. You showed me that you can compromise, even when you really don’t want to.
At night, we sat by the fire playing your favorite game, APPLES TO APPLES. Sometimes we all laughed so hard at someone’s words, like when Tom picked “QUEEN” to match up with “UGLY”. At other moments, two of you helped your sibling along who was clearly distraught about losing. In the end, you all showed that you can be supportive and resilient even when things don’t go your way.
We saw friends we’ve known for years, and we all cherished that. There is something so special about watching you interact with people who even you can call old friends. Watching you hug, laugh, and play together confirmed for me your ability to appreciate these special bonds. You even spent the night with them, and got to experience “farm life” one morning by fetching eggs and doing other chores. Your sense of adventure came shining through when each of you excitedly told me how many eggs you had collected.
There were all of these memories and more. On the surface, they are little snapshots of moments in time that make up our life together. “You have 18 years” chants in my head, like an approaching train that seems to come a bit closer with each passing season. These memories are the threads that weave it all together for me. I hope they will stay with you and make you smile in years to come.