Hope all is well wherever you are - I don't think you are very far away because I feel your presence everyday.
The past three years have both flown and dragged by. When I look at the kids, it seems as if time is getting away from me. You would be so proud of them - even though they would probably annoy you with their loud voices and sticky fingers. You always did like your peace and quiet - and hands off the audio-visual equipment!
Gromit is now a big 7 1/2 year old. He has your eyes - although green, not light blue - and your build. In fact, I think he will probably end up even taller than you were. He towers over his friends, of which he has many, and I'm always afraid he is going to hurt then with his exhuberant play. But, despite sometimes being too rough for his own good, he's basically a gentle giant who is not aware of his own strength. When he does hurt someone - usually me - he is mortified.
His size helps when it comes to his passion for sport - cricket mainly (can you believe I bred someone who likes cricket???? No, me neither). When he's not playing, or practicing, he's watching sport on telly. And he will watch anything (his current passion is the English darts competition!). He also loves the statistics involved, and how fixtures and ladders work. Maybe we have a future sports journalist in our midst?
It's summer break now and when school returns he will start Year 3. Can you believe it? It seems like yesterday that I was waiting (impatiently) for him to make his entrance! He's a smart kid (and, let me tell you, there is a fine line between smart and smart alec), and skipped straight from reception to Year 2. I hope we won't regret agreeing to that as he gets older, but his teachers have all assured me he will shine. In fact, his Year 2 teacher was amazed that however high she set the bar, he reached it. I just hope we can channel all those brains and that strength into making him one of the good guys as an adult. You were one of the good guys, and the world needs as many as it can handle.
Missy is....Missy. She really is unique. As one of the daycare workers mentioned - she really does know her own mind. She loves Dora, and the Wiggles and all things girly. And just adores her big brother. It makes for an interesting mix of tomboy, when she's playing with Gromit, and ballerina, when she's playing by herself. She has a very active imagination and does a lot of role playing - I must have sat through 1000 tea parties by now. She also enjoys being read to and listening to music - she has dance moves to die for, especially when she wiggles her hips. And, unlike Gromit, who used to stare at pre-school TV shows, completely absorbed, she follows the presenters' instructions to clap, or jump, or spin 'round.
She turned three not long before Christmas and you would have got a huge kick out of watching her grow up. You might even think I had been given my come-uppance for all the grief I caused you and mum. She certainly keeps us on our toes (the other day, we found her in the bathroom with a sink full of water and suds everywhere - she had emptied the liquid soap and was "washing" her toothbrush). And she has a temper of which I have never seen. She already screams at us, then goes to her bedroom and slams the door. What will she be like when she's 13?
Mum has had a few health scares lately but she is on the mend. Honestly, I think she's a little cross at you for leaving her when she needed you most. She has to pay someone else to vacuum these days istead of getting your assistance for free! I try to make sure she sees the kids weekly because they help keep her young (unlike me, they seem to be making me older by the day). She has some good friends in the retirement village and I am so pleased that the both of you made plans for her to move in there. Of course, at the time, we thought you would both move, but we didn't know how quickly the bitch called cancer would claim you (I know, I know, you hate swearing, but, seriously? I think I get a pass on this one).
The winemaker and I are pottering along, some days are good, some bad. This parenting of young children is a tough job - I can't imaging what people are thinking when they have a baby to save a marriage. But things are fundamentally strong, and we both look forward to the day when we can sleep again. Both my parents-in-law are now dead too, which makes mum the last living grandparent. Serves us all right for having kids are such as advanced age!
Anyway, this letter is longer than I had expected when I started it, so I had better sign off now (need to get some work done - procrastinating as usual),
Miss you all the time and love you as much now as I always did.
All my love and kisses