Friday, December 18, 2009

Craciun Fericit

“Life Changes”

So. Chris is in the Marines. John-Adrian gained and lost a fiancée. Our nephew Kyle came to live with us. Tracy’s dad long pondered moving into an apartment, then decided all at once to do it. And put the house on the market 2 days later. David’s brother stays with us about half the time. It is odd that Ben’s news, and especially Jonathan and Heidi’s news, is now for them to share. It’s hard to let that reporting go. In brief, Ben continues as a videographer in Houston – he has a steady girlfriend. Jonathan, Heidi, and Emily live nearby and we get to see them, amidst everyone’s busy schedules.

We’re about the same, thanks. But everything around us changes. Things don’t turn out like you thought, I keep saying. Life changes. Tracy’s refrain is All will be well. Perhaps we should set those to music.

“I’ll make you Hip”

That’s Kyle’s plan for me. He’s in eighth grade, a stage of life when such things are important. He’s not going to succeed, of course. Silk purse, sow’s ear. Ben made a concerted effort to accomplish the same thing years ago, and now advises Kyle that the best he can hope for is to limit the damage. Kyle’s having better luck with Tracy. She’s learned the proper context to say “Epic fail” rather than “fail,” for example. We have entered an environment in which brand names are of consummate importance – clothes, breakfast sandwiches, restaurants, electronics, everything. I had forgotten that world existed. He’s witty and sociable enough that he’s already got himself elected to student council, and is a natural in the school mascot costume - so he has settled in at the talkative Wyman household pretty seamlessly. For Kyle’s adjustment, he’s entered a world with Power School, which allows Tracy to track his grades daily. We wish that technology had been in place for at least one of the first four sons – we’ll leave you to guess which.

“Just out of curiosity, when were you planning on telling us?”

Samantha had sadly returned his engagement ring on a Sunday. It’s John-Adrian’s business, not ours, so you’ll have to worm the story out of him. But for our part of things, it’s fair to tell you that by Wednesday he still hadn’t mentioned it, even though he lives here. I cornered him at a Fisher Cats game. “I figured you would know already.” True, but still…

He has made noises about joining the Air Force, and even voluntarily bought a book to study for the test. Amazing. He’s cheerful. Inscrutable. Charming.

“This is Recruit Wyman. I have arrived safely at Parris Island.”

Ninety days later, the rest of us arrived at Parris Island to watch him graduate. Ben flew up from Houston; Jonathan, J-A and I drove down; Tracy, Heidi, and Emily flew down. During those ninety days we sent cards and letters, and Chris wrote letters home. Let me repeat that: Chris wrote letters home. This was one of the early clues we had that the USMC would be developing a more responsible individual. The myth in my era was that the military made everyone into robots with no personality. Emphatically not true here. Chris is still Chris – now Lance Corporal Wyman – but a few years older in the space of a few months, and he’s never looked better. They send him to various trainings at bases around the country. He is possibly being deployed in February, but the plans keep changing.

“9 People Like This”

We are lightly connected to alumni and Facebook networks, which has allowed us to renew contact with several folks we have not heard from in years. It’s a different world now. Life changes. John-Adrian, who associates farming with some of the worst years of his childhood, finds himself playing Farmville these days.

“The Year of the Teenager”

The year began with acquiring Kyle and starting over with middle school and teenagers. Then in July, Tracy finally got to go to CHIC, the Covenant Youth conference that takes place every three years, with 6 teenagers from her church and 5 from Maine and 6,000 from around the world. She had wanted to go for years but no son had been willing to let her attend with him. So this was her turn. After CHIC, it was time to take Kyle and some of the Chicisters to Soulfest for four days of Christian rock music (including two days of rain). Then on to Pilgrim Pines where we heard “Hiii, Kyyyle” from every middle school and most of the high school girls. Next was the mission trip to the Children’s Home of Cromwell, CT. with Kyle and a whole flock of middle and senior high teenagers. In September Tracy returned to her cherub class but still is involved with the Solid Rock Youth Group.

Merry Christmas from the Wymans


lelia said...

About the sow's ear: My adopted daughter told me that when she gets me into a nursing home she is going to dress me so that I don't look like crap every day. I plan to die first. My sons either don't care or don't dare. Oh wait, one son did ask me with fear and trembling to tone it back for his wedding so all the attention could be on the bride. I don't know what he thought I was planning to wear.
Thank you for the Christmas letter. If you send me an email address I'll send you mine.

Donna B. said...

Lovely letter, lovely family. Merry Christmas!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

lelia, it's the usual puzzle of hiding things out in the open on my site.

Retriever said...

Great letter! My spouse is more private than I am, so I may end up posting ours only on my blog...

Sam L.. said...

"All servicemen and women are robots"
wasn't true pretty much forever. Sometimes you have to be there to know this, other times you have to know people who are (or were) there.

Ben Wyman said...

Let me just say: on JA's behalf, I am mortified about his section. Our family Christmas letter only reports that his fiancé broke up with him and he didn't mention it. Facebook gets more positive press than JA. Tidings of comfort and joy to you, too.

karrde said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours.