Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Seventeen

Dear Taylor,


As I’ve been thinking about you this past week it occurs to me: in addition to being mother and son, we’ve got this kind of pen-pal relationship. I’ve always liked writing and getting letters, and maybe you do, too. Anyway, I’m rambling now about how I just feel like I need to give you an update because so very much is new.


I wish you were here to get to know John. We were married on 30 March of this year in the Provo City Center Temple. It was a beautiful day -- rainy, sunny, cloudy, snowy. All of it. A lot of happy, and a lot of sad (which seems like a weird thing to say about one’s wedding day, but it’s true), which is how life just...is. As my friend Tracy recently commented on one of my facebook posts: Life is sure a lot of things.


John is the best man I’ve ever met; together he and I have a lot to learn, and a lot upon which to improve. But here’s the thing: we want to work on it. Both of us. Together. It’s how life is supposed to be, I’m pretty sure. I love him a lot. And he loves me, too. As it is, today-- your birthday-- he’s supposed to be in Arizona on a trip for work, but because it’s your birthday, which he knows isn’t the easiest day for me, he arranged his schedule to be here to support me in missing and loving and honoring you.


Speaking of home...I’ve sold the house in Provo. It was built after you were born, but I thought you should know, as it was a part of our family’s life for 14 years. I almost lost it, but I worked so hard and refinanced it last year (ahead of schedule), and...know what? Never mind. You’re 17, you don’t care about this stuff.

Rae is 18. She graduated from high school and is All Growed Up. She lives with your dad & Betsy, goes to UVU, and works for the Auernigs (at Sodalicious in Springville, and watching their kids). She plans to go on a mission next spring. On Friday she’s having her wisdom teeth removed. (I just remembered, I had my wisdom teeth removed about a week or so after you were born…) I'm proud of her, and excited for her in this season of her life, and I wish I saw her more.


Emma just turned 16 a week ago. She told me the other day she considers you to be her best friend, though she hasn’t met you. In the past year she’s had some serious challenges...like, unreal. She was very, very sick. The good news is, she’s getting better all the time. She’s so kind-hearted, and brilliant as ever. She got a dog not long ago, and don’t tell her, but I think it’s kind of cute.


Clara is 13, and is into ballroom and choir at school, and making hilarious videos on her phone. She’s also got a kind-heart, to the point it sometimes worries me. She carries the weight of the worries of those she loves, and she loves...most everyone. I hope she sees her emotions as strengths, not weaknesses. She is a strong girl, to be sure.


Quinn will be 11 in one week, and he’s like a walking joke factory. Seriously, I don’t know how the kid remembers jokes. I can only remember, like, two jokes, on a good day. He loves dancing and has taken to reading. I think he has a crush on a girl in his class. His giggle is one of the sweetest sounds in our family. He seems to be into Scouts, which-- okay.


Syd is 9, and in the very best way just could not care less. In general. Although...she’s also very inquisitive. She loves to tell me she’s like a scientist because she asks so many questions, and that’s true. I worry she doesn’t have many close friends. Like, it breaks my heart. I still see her as a baby in so many ways (because she’s my youngest), and we still love to cuddle. We’re reading a book together, that’s fun.


You now have a step-sister (and she’s getting married next week), and two step-brothers. I think you’d really love Andrew. Your siblings are, straight up, his biggest fan club.


As for me, I’m just...I mean. I don’t know. Maybe this time of year isn’t the ideal check-in time. Let’s see...I drive a lot, still. I’m trying to finish organizing my things in the home I now share with John, a seemingly neverending task. I have many possibilities of What To Do Next: work options, go to school. For the first time in my life, I have some savings and zero debt (and also no property ownership, so…), which is surreal. John and I love to travel together. We’ve been to Montana, NYC, Italy, California (twice), and have plans to go a few other places soon.


So it’s been 17 years. As I’ve been writing this I’ve been texting with Carina. She asked me if it’s different this year. The truth is, I told her, it is different. Some crazy stuff has been going on in the world (man, if that doesn’t make me sound old), and this is horrible, but I actually had the thought that of all my kids, I don’t have to worry about you. You’re safe. Is that horrible? I feel awful that I even thought it.


But some things aren’t different. I miss you. I wonder if my missing you and talking with you like this (or in any other way) makes me appear, or actually, crazy. This week still hurts. This week I’ve still been extra on-edge, which is followed by extra sad. But I’m grateful Em’s bday is a week before yours, so we can celebrate, and I’m grateful Quinn’s bday is a week after yours so we can celebrate, and I’m grateful for you, though the time you had here was brief.


Speaking of birthdays, we’re going to celebrate yours and Quinn’s together this year. I hope you’re cool with that.


I love you, Taylor.


I miss you.


Love,

Mom



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