Three or four times last year, I wrote Cricket a letter—my dad travelled a lot when I was small, and the postcards he sent from around the world mean a lot to adult me, so I thought that making sure that he had a written record of the fact that we care and have been around might be a good thing. The problem is that it is super awkward to write to a baby: I had some better moments, like talking about the hawks we saw while driving up the coast, and some less good moments—like telling Cricket about our inability to find a decent Mexican restaurant in town. I don’t want to quit writing, but I have found myself dreading it a bit.
Mr. Book’s mom sends him cards for every holiday, and while I was looking at the Christmas card on our fridge, I realized that I should steal her idea: we’ll send Cricket holiday cards, write as much inside as will reasonably fit, and avoid the need to fill whole pages with small talk for a baby. Maybe it’s a cop-out, but I feel relieved. I ordered some cards that I really like—minor mental derail when I realized that Ruth and Nora probably won’t like them at all (just an issue of taste; they aren’t in any way offensive), but I decided to go ahead—and we’ll start the year off with a Valentine sent in a couple of weeks.
I’ve decided to wait two months after Ruth’s stated intention to schedule a visit—February 8—and then ask about whether they have a visit time in mind. I don’t really want to have a visit right now, to be honest, but I almost never do; I want visits to go on, I just don’t look forward to or really enjoy the actual visits. But if we’re going to make regular visits a normal thing, we should probably go ahead and put another one on the calendar. I don’t really know how big an impact my request to discuss serious stuff has had on Ruth and Nora. I don’t know whether it is making them reconsider visits, or whether it was a minor irritation that hasn’t really stayed with them. I think that asking is a pretty bad idea, but I do wish that I knew. In the absence of that knowledge, I guess my job is just to act normal and be cheerful.