I'm not quite sure when or why I did it, but at some point I began posting all of my Facebook status updates in haiku form. I like the brevity, simplicity and the self-indulgent quirkiness of it. And I suppose I just figured that if something takes more than 17 syllables to explain, it probably isn't something that needs to be shared with everyone I've ever known.
Over the course of the past year, I’ve written more than 200 of the little ditties. This morning I gathered them all up as a way to take stock of the past year, and I noticed a few themes that I thought were interesting.
First, it’s clear that I spend a lot of time worrying about Oregon State University’s football team and the Real Salt Lake soccer team. Second, our family apparently spends a ton of time with our friends Chris and Ashley; many of my tiny poems were about them. Third, I think about you a lot — you are mentioned quite a bit in this collection. Fourth, I spend a lot of time thinking about work — both writing and teaching. And fifth, you seem to be a little bit of a racist — there are several posts in there about how you apparently think all black people look alike and all Asian people should speak Chinese…
… um, we’re working on that.
The collection of haikus also gives me a good glimpse of many of the ways that made this year so special. And it was very special, indeed.
It was the year that I left full-time newspapering and you and I broke off our daddy daycare arrangement so that I could begin teaching full-time and you could go to pre-school. You fell hopelessly addicted to snowboarding. I went off to Ethiopia with my good friend and colleague, Rick, to report on ritual tribal infanticide. We traveled to Wyoming to watch the National High School Finals Rodeo (and you and your mom kept going — all the way to South Dakota — to visit Mount Rushmore.) The Afghanistan War entered its 10th year. The Iraq War ended. Our whole family got toy light sabers (seriously, that was a big deal.)
All in all, it wasn’t a bad year.
And we’re getting off to a pretty good start on the new one. We’ll spend the next week in Beijing, hiking the Great Wall, touring the Forbidden City and eating all sorts of wonderful things.