It was 2:30 a.m. and I was wide awake, when suddenly it struck me: I’m from a family of writers!
My mom, my siblings, and I all enjoy writing. Of course, we’ve had our share of mishaps. Like the time my mom sent a cheerful email to her siblings proclaiming “Hell to you all!” (she’d forgotten an “o”). Or the time when I was a child making a birthday card for my aunt. The card contained a hidden message cleverly concealed under a square of paper on which I had inscribed “Open the flab.”
Despite these unfortunate skeletons, we continued writing and continue to this day.
Mom comes from a family of unusual vocabulary, a vocabulary which still seeps into her everyday speech and writing. Before having children, she used to write poetry and keep a journal. Since children, she exchanged writing time for reading aloud: tales of Ira, Francis, Ichiro, and a little later, Narnia. Now her main writing occupation is optimistic emails to missing family members.
My older sister and I have stacks of journals. Hers go way back, to when she recorded observations from our childhood such as “Tricia eats like a horse and looks like a string bean.” Even now, she writes captivating emails recording events and people that waltz through her married life.
My older brother is the nerdy, theological writer of the family. When he asked me to help edit his Bible school thesis, I read a bit then stuck to editing grammar, not content. Instead of “This deep point of doctrine would be more indisputable if…” I was penciling in things like, “Maybe this sentence structure needs help???” Of late, most of his writing seems to be going out from the mailbox to a certain Ohio address.
My younger brother kept a journal of our family trip out West. The several pages, which gave a snapshot of the vacation in that moment, also gave some humorous insight to the workings of a 12-year-old mind. It was delightful to find his journal in my stash of papers years later… and give a copy to his wife to read! Now he gets to write sermons rather than record who is eating candy and what music we are listening to.
It was on another vacation long ago that my little sister, wrote an adorable note: “Dad, why do you let your whiskers grow?” Her thoughts have run down deeper lines since then. She maintains her own blog now and is more dedicated to her writing than any of us other family members.
At 14-months, even my nephew scripts his feelings quite clearly:
Why do we write? Maybe it was due to those years when our parents instilled in us a love of reading. Those evenings that Mom would take us to the library and we would walk out with 40+ books that we started to read on the way home. The librarian told Mom that we were “good for circulation.”
Regardless of the reason, I’m thankful to be from a family who expresses through writing. For one, it makes living overseas more possible.