A reply to: A letter from Newt
Every time I think about your letter, I smile. I know, I know! It’s been ages since I’ve written! But it’s been a long time for good reasons, not bad. Things are finally coming together with the business.
I’ve been smiling because your last letter was just so normal. It cracks me up. When we started writing each other, we were so opposite. I mean, yeah. We both ran our fathers’ companies and felt like we were living someone else’s life. But I didn’t have any women in my life (except my sister, but you know what I mean). You had plenty.
Now, I’m finally turning around the business so it feels like my business, run the way I want it to be run. You’re getting your life together. I’ve got Ira. And you’ve got Janet.
Now, we’re just two normal successful guys. Happy, boring people.
I kind of always wanted to be a happy boring person. It looked so good from the outside.
It feels pretty good from the inside, too.
This’ll be a short letter. For one thing, I don’t have much to say. Life’s boring! It’s actually really good. No drama. Everything’s working out OK.
For another, I’ve got a little girl who’s waiting for me to read her a bedtime story. She’s in the kitchen right now, having cereal for desert. We let her eat the junky kind, loaded with food coloring and all those sweets, but we don’t tell her that the food coloring is natural (beets and carrots and blueberries and stuff) or that the sweetener is malt syrup and honey. She likes it. It’s colorful. That’s what counts. It only matters to me and Ira that it’s healthy, too.
I was glad to hear that your cousin is OK. It’s been a while since you wrote, so I hope his recovery is still progressing well.
Hope things are going well with you and Janet, too. How’d your Christmas trip to see your aunt go?
It’s a funny thing. When I was young, I always took family for granted. They were there–they were the people who were in the home, always there. Then my mom died and my dad died not long after, and I was out in the world, running Dad’s business, and family were the ghosts who filled the empty corners of my empty house. I don’t know how Meadow kept on, after Mom and Dad died. She leaned on me. She leaned on our uncle Jasper. She disappeared into her books and studies. But mostly, for me at that time, family was the ache around my heart. I tried not to think of them.
It’s so different now. Now family is the chatter in the kitchen. Family is the jokes at the end of the day. Family is that warm feeling of not being alone when I’m home.
It’s like it was when I was a kid, except I don’t take it for granted anymore.
I liked that sense I got from your last letter that you don’t take it for granted anymore, either. It sounds like Janet really means something to you. Heck, you two are taking it slow! That’s a change!
I know from experience when you’ve got a good woman, she’s worth waiting for.
Whenever Ira takes a long time getting ready to go out, or is late coming home, or keeps us waiting for supper, I always tell her it’s no big deal. I’d wait forever for her.
But I got a sleepy little girl who won’t wait forever for me, and tomorrow’s a school day. I’d better wrap this up and find that sleepy-head so we can read tonight’s installment of Treasure Island.
Take care, Newt! Maybe next time, I’ll have something more exciting to share. But truthfully? I hope not. I like the boring life just fine.