Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vaughn my Muse

To the desk of Vaughn M. Maynard (2 ½ years),

This letter is in response to your request for admission to the Academy of Little Brothers.

Here at ALB, we educate only the finest younger siblings. We are an institution dedicated to the advancement of immature human beings.

Our mission statement reads “We will advance our interests slowly and continually while our parents rapidly descend into insanity”.

Initially, we only recruited the most promising young males, but in 2005, we began offering admission to a select number of little sisters who round out our student population. We find that the female ability to whine incessantly while maintaining dominance over her adoring father will serve to frustrate her mother and in effect advance our mission of paternal demise.

Each little brother/sister is evaluated for their ability to engage in various mind numbing activities: such as, repetitive noise making, paper destruction, and food refusal.

Upon enrollment, our students are trained in raisin manipulation, crayon consumption, remote control covert-ops, cabinet evacuation, and shopping cart tantrums. The shopping cart training program has been so successful, that this year we added a two week course specifically dedicated to the Wal-Mart experience. Our research shows that requests made at this mega store are given little consideration due to the frustration of parents, and we are currently developing a similar methodology for Kohl’s and Old Navy.

After careful evaluation, we find that you are a master in the art of aggravation, and we are particularly interested in your vast knowledge of small animal irritations. You possess large amounts of potential energy ,and you adequately manage your output by recharging yourself ,daily, during school hours; this allows for maximum, kinetic energy output between the hours of 3 and 8 pm. Your squealing skills are exemplary, and we especially enjoy your tenacity with regard to the opening and closing of doors, junk food requests, hair pulling, and booger distribution.

It is with great pleasure that we formally offer you admission to our prestigious academy. Tuition is fully reimbursable if your parents are not completely mental in less than 5 years. Thank you for your interest in our training program and we hope to hear from you soon.


Ima Payne

Dean of Student Admissions

A poem for my paper

I have released my first born among many
Relinquished into the hands of a capable carver
And when she returns, a hollow shell of her former self
I will repair her disassembled limbs
And receive my reward

New Year...New Start

In my family, New Years Eve was just another night. Never were there riotous celebrations or late night affairs. We would saunter out of our respective bedrooms to watch the ball drop and then retire to our dens in solitude for the duration of the night.

Last New Years Eve has been erased from my memory; my father was clinging to life in a hospital hundreds of miles from my home. 2009 was ushered in with uncertainty, but it slowly became a year of progress. As the following 12 months marched on, new opportunities began to present themselves, and impossibilites became realized. First, my father made a miraculous recovery and finally made the move to North Carolina. Jason and I soon quit our employment as restaurant servants, and we returned to a simple life, a life that brought us time together with our children.

As a lark, I had applied for financial aid. I desperately wanted to return to school, but I never actually believed that it was possible. The whole registration process is a memory that now seems obscured. Looking back, I cannot remember a point that I clearly decided to start school again, yet I did. And without realizing it, I actually completed the semester with a full-time 4.0 GPA.

The children have had a fabulous year. They finally have both grandparents around to spend time with, and trips to their house bring them so much joy.

I have learned many spiritual lessons this year also. To begin with, I finally realized the the previous generations don't understand scripture anymore than my own. They are just as helpless as the generations that follow them. Purging my life of ritual and habit has not been a delicate procedure, for it more closely resembles a full body heave. Standing for truth often lands a person in the line of fire from friends and family...and their judgments soon abound. It is a painful process, but it has left me with a clear impression of who my true friends are...and for that I am grateful.

So cheers to a new year, a new decade. I have spent the last ten years with the man I love, and we have changed in so many ways that I hardly recognize the young couple who walked down the isle together so many years ago. We are a couple of travelers, and I am so glad that we get to walk the road of life...hand in hand.