Family Update: February 2012

My friend Jason is continually after me to update my weblog. Acting on the assumption that a sample size of one is statistically valid, I’m going to assume that the rest of the world is just as interested and post a family update, cribbing liberally from a recent letter to my dear sister-in-law. (Martha, you are excused from reading this post.)

Kathy has begun an internship at Criss Cole rehab center for the blind up in Austin, and is enjoying it quite a bit (aside from the commute). Her first two weeks there were spent with a blindfold on as she went through many of the experiences that the clients there would have, including wood shop. (I’ll pause for a moment while you connect the dots and make the requisite astonished face.) She came home with some nice pieces of work and all of her fingers, so I count it a success.

I’m well into my new job at Mutual Mobile, a company that makes apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. It’s a lot of fun. I’m surrounded by a ton of super-smart, very engaged folks there, and am learning a ton. Taking the bus up to Austin daily has been an interesting experience. Although the on-board Internet seems to work only about 60% of the time, I’m still generally able to make good use of the time reading books, listening to podcasts, or catching up on some reading and writing.

Emily has recently started a couple of college classes at Austin Community College, and seems to be both enjoying them and doing really well. She’s continuing to work at Rue 21 at the nearby outlet mall, as well as exercising her formidable art skills on her own time. Though we don’t see as much of her since she moved out to the garage apartment, she’s still a help around the house, and we’re glad to still have her close.

Abigail recently performed for her first open mic night, and did a great job. She sang and played guitar for Hey Jude (Beatles), On and On (Stephen Bishop), and a song she wrote herself. She’s keen to try another one soon. She’s also in a production of The Crucible at her High School, with the first performance tonight. It’s great fun to see her exploring these various artistic avenues and enjoying them so much!

Liam is doing a bang-up job in band, where he plays French Horn, following in his mother, aunt’s, and sister’s footsteps. Though he’s in 7th grade, he also gets to play with the 8th grade band, and sits first chair in his section. In addition, he’s been playing tennis this year, and is enjoying it a fair bit, though I’ve had no luck getting him out on the court with me lately. (I may be too little challenge for him these days.) He recently turned 13, and has been enjoying the increased freedom that comes with that advanced age.

Maggie is a particular favorite of her teachers, and has developed a good deal of enthusiasm for reading. She enjoys dabbling in all kinds of creative pursuits, including cooking, drawing, writing stories, playing pennywhistle, and building fairy houses. She’s a particular friend to animals, built an impressive fort out of scrap from our old deck in the backyard the other day, and is almost always the first to offer help when someone needs it.

While Kathy’s internship schedule has made it tough for her and I to have as much time together as we prefer, I’ve really been enjoying the evenings I have with the kiddos, and am struck again by what a joy it is to watch them growing into distinct, fascinating human beings. I love being around these folks. If families were chosen, rather than determined by a fascinating mix of genetics, mine would look no different.