Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Suburban Man: Holiday Letter 2007

By Rick Kaempfer

I've gotten quite a bit of feedback from friends and family about the Kaempfer family Holiday letter. Since I don't have all of your addresses, I thought I would reprint the letter here.

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends and Family:

It's been an eventful 2007 at the Kaempfer house.

*In February, Tommy (age 11) won a Pinewood Derby race! The other Cub Scout dads congratulated Rick on the victory, but Rick was forced to publicly admit that Bridget made the car.

*In March, Sean (age 5) officially gave up trying to make friends with his older brothers. He now spends his days plotting passive-aggressive revenge. Among his greatest hits, this casual little gem, uttered in Johnny's general direction as he was leaving for school one day…"Magic 8-ball, will Sean be playing with Johnny's toys all day? Hmmm. What does Y-E-S spell?"

*In early May Bridget started a new job at a private equity firm. The job came with its own workout program. She now runs several miles a week because she's constantly late for the train.

*In mid-May, the Kaempfers went camping as a family for the very first time. After a refreshing hike through the woods, Rick and Bridget spent the rest of the weekend picking hundreds of ticks out of every nook and cranny of Tommy, Johnny and Sean. They threw the last tick in the fire just before the thunderstorm began.

*In early June Rick's novel "$everance" was released just as the boys were getting out of school for the summer. He conducted dozens of slightly distracted radio interviews on the phone while all three boys were at home…an experience that may have inspired another book. Tentative working title: "What was that thump?"

*In mid-June, a desperate Bridget took the boys to Benihana in an effort to get them to try new foods. The boys, especially Johnny (age 9), oohed and aahed as the chefs performed a chop-tastic knife show. Unfortunately, recreating this success at home will require a paramedic.

*In July, Rick forgot to apply sunscreen before going outside on a hot afternoon, and his lips became horribly blistered. The next day, he got the biggest zit he's had since high school. The following night, a playful wrestling session with Sean resulted in a gaping wound to Rick's cheek. If you want to see what he looked like during that regrettable three day period, just ask him to show you his driver's license picture. It happened right before he got it renewed.

*In September, Sean started collecting beer bottle caps. He now requests to go "beer shopping" and has been seen looking in other people's refrigerators asking a question any typical five-year-old might ask: "What kind of beer you got?"

*In October Tommy turned 12. His age is now equal to the number of words he speaks to his parents in a given day.

*In November, Johnny and Sean got along with each other for eight days. In a row. The Guinness people have been in touch.

That's it for us. We hope you have wonderful and joyous holiday season, and a truly memorable 2008—the one hundredth anniversary of the Cubs' last World Series title.

Rick, Bridget, Tommy, Johnny & Sean

If you haven't yet checked out my blog at NWI Parent ("Father Knows Nothing"), there are several new columns there that I haven't shared here at Suburban Man headquarters.

Click here to see them.