I found an old, old letter to my kids when I was on a business trip years ago in the Netherlands, promoting one of my books. I miss the kids’ ages and their spontaneity, and the relationship I seemed to have had with them when they were this age. Read and enjoy!
Dear William and Caroline,
I traveled to and through Holland all by myself and missed you two (and daddy) every step of the way.
I missed William’s sweet hugs, his “how ya doin’mom?” and even, yes, the little onions that are growing out of his armpits. You know, the French think that scent sexy but Americans thinks it’s gross. The Dutch are somewhere in the middle.
I also missed Caroline’s drawings, her sneaky crawling into OUR bed at night and her crazy sleepwalking: out of the bed, into the bathroom, out the window, over the hill, into the pool, out of the pool, through the woods, down spook hill, back to Rose Lane…and into bed. I even missed her farting on command.
However, I was not worried for a single moment because you both were in SUCH GOOD HANDS with grandma, grandpa…..and daddy who can play MOMMY, even though “he is not female” as William reminded me on the phone.
Holland was chilly but green and beautiful, Amsterdam wicked good (“vet cool” Dutch teenagers say) and The Hague full of memories because this is the place where mommy and daddy met. My work visits in Amsterdam, The Hague and Hilversum went great.
I saw all your cousins except for Daan and Matthijs: that is, Tim, Laurine, Julia, Marijke and Olivier and they all wanted to hear about you guys. BTW, here’s a problem solver: can you match their names up with the right aunt and uncle?
One of the highlights was the radio show in Hilversum: 2 hours of a roundtable conversation with very interesting guests, one of whom was the Dutch Ellen van Langen who won the gold medal on the 800 meters at the Barcelona Olympics. There was also a very funny woman who looked like my friend Tricia. This woman has started an animal farm outside of Amsterdam: she saves pigs from becoming pork chops. Yes, like retirement home for pigs, cool huh?!…and she massages them to make them feel good. Did you know that pigs are almost as smart as dolphins? Anyhoo, this woman teaches management training classes at her farm (she teaches managers how to be better communicators—now ask your daddy what a manager does all day, besides surfing the internet).
This woman told a very funny story about a company that came to her farm one day. The boss, a woman who was very bossy and disliked by most everyone, thought she could manipulate (boss around) pigs like she could people and guess what? She stepped inside the pigs’ pen and the boss pig named Aagje gave her an awesome push so that she was tossed into the haystack, her high heels sticking up in the air. But she had not learned her lesson—she brushed herself off and approached Aagje again, this time, to touch her in the face (which even to pigs, is a most intimate thing to do)—so Aagje made another Miss Piggy move, let out a big grunt and AWOOMPH this sent Miss Executive running on her high heels. Her colleagues were watching in awe. (After that experience things were never the same at the office).
Meanwhile, the lady of the catering had come out to take a peek at the commotion: “What’s going on?!” she asked.
“Oh, it’s the pigs…” someone replied.
“Pigs?!” the catering lady said, “I love pigs!”
So the catering lady stepped inside the pen and guess what? Aagje dropped to her knees and rolled over to be massaged. So you see, there is wisdom in pigs. Never take nature or animals for granted. We are just one of the many animals and we need to know our place!
Can’t wait to see you!!!