The year “after” the pandemic is a wrap! We traveled again. We ate at restaurants again. We went to concerts again. We practically hugged and licked strangers. If I had to stop here, that was our 2022.
Wait, there’s more. The kids changed faster than Superman in a phone booth. I don’t remember what they were like a week ago. But I remember enough to brag a bit shamelessly. Vivian is somehow making honor role while binging on Brooklyn Nine-Nine the entire weekend before her exams. She travelled from school to two caving trips, her latest passion. And for a three-day conference on student leadership and diversity which she said was mind-blowing. She is a sport and doesn’t mind Jo and I pulling her leg about her dating situation at the family dinner table. She is having a lot of fun with visual art and did some good work, but fortunately she is also keen on science and math : – ). I enjoy most of my conversations with Vivian and I marvel at how she has a deeply nuanced feel for some of the hardest problems that her generation faces.
Evan grew and grew. He is a slightly mustachioed young man with a deep voice who needs longer pants every few months. He still plays center defender on his club soccer team with gusto and loves chasing down an opposing player who has the ball. He has fully nerded out on chemistry and physics and has a seemingly easy familiarity with Heisenberg and Planck. But he is diversifying. He has joined his school basketball team (first ever sport that is not called soccer!) and mock United Nations. He is mentoring a kindergarten kid at his school. He is contributing to the school newspaper (but predictably his first article was on the Bose-Einstein condensate). He is pretty chill and easy to hang out with unless you are trying to get him to do something. In that case he starts with “jez-a-minute” and it ends with me pulling out fist fulls of my sparse hair. Alas he is the refined product of generations of Chatterjee-Clark stubbornness distilled into one lovely human.
Jo is very much Jo. She celebrated the end of the pandemic by going to Jordan with a group of complete strangers. There she did things like pulling herself upriver in a slot canyon, and spending the night in a Bedouin encampment. I am learning to balance work (which has been extremely interesting) and family, and Jo is nice enough to rarely tell me that I am failing.
In 2022 we were fortunate to spend quality time with friends and family. And I was sadly reminded again that time is all we got.
Most mornings in 2022 I woke up and smelled the roses and marveled at this amazing life. Sure, there were ups and downs. But I got through Brazil losing on penalty kicks. I hope that 2023 is full of promise and hope for you.
Love and hugs from Pagosa Springs where the powder is light and the mountains are stunning.
December 22, 2022
One thought on “The Christmas Letter”
Change is the way of the world. You now have one young man, a young lady and a hardworking man at home. Jo is the constant by which you can judge how much you have all changed.