Tricounty News

A perfect family


By Jill Pertler

Happy holidays dear friends and family,

It’s that time of year again! Time to take a break from gourmet cookie baking and ornate present wrapping to share the exploits of my perfect family. It is a joy to reveal a window of our world to you. It is a shining window indeed. Clean and streak free.

The very perfection of my family makes this letter writing business a snap. Imagine my happiness at being able to share our outstanding talents, achievements and overall excellence with you, humble friend or family member.

While we do regularly see double rainbows in our backyard, our mornings start out much like the mornings of normal people. Well, except for the days when we oversleep and all vie for the shower at the same time. Those skirmishes for hot water and dry towels can get pretty aggressive. But you know what that means: We are a clean bunch. I’ve heard it said cleanliness is next to Godliness. Amen to that.

After competing for the limited amount of hot water, we throw our towels on the floor, forget to make our beds and proceed to the bliss of breakfast. We express differing opinions about who sits where and whose turn it is to feed the dog. Then, we all grab for the same piece of toast and in the heated moment of family togetherness, it slips from our fingers and falls to the floor–jelly-side down. Someone invariably spills their milk and blames it on the cat–or a brother–whichever is most convenient. Arm wrestling over who gets the last bit of scrambled eggs becomes physical and someone rips his shirt, or jeans, or both.

I leave the table with a smile, knowing we endured breakfast together as a family. Studies show spending mealtimes together–conversing and wrestling–is the crux of the wholesome American family. We are cruxed for sure.

After breakfast, we hone in on the issue of winter wear. It’s so good to have honest discourse within a family. We engage in opinionated dialogue related to hats, coats, mittens and boots. My husband and I are pro-winter wear. The kids, not so much. Since the adults are outnumbered, we are often left holding the mittens and boots, hoping the wind chill won’t be a factor today.

I could go on and on about bedtimes, curfews, homework and report cards (I wish the ones my kids brought home contained a few more vowels) but I’ve bragged about my family enough.

I won’t go into detail about the rest of our pristinely perfect days; I think you get the picture. It is one of a perpetually-in-order household with nary a dish piled in the sink or load of laundry left unfolded. We never lose the remote and believe clogged toilets are simply a part of our past (if you consider yesterday the past).

Despite our daily struggles, we seem to get along and (most days) are happy to be skirmishing. It makes us a family, and for that we are glad. Of course we’re not perfect. Far from it. But this is the season of perfection and we do pause now (and hopefully throughout the year) to remember the story of a tiny baby who came from the most humble beginnings to live a perfect life and make the greatest sacrifice for us all. I sort of think that’s way nicer than letting your mom shower first.

Enjoy the season, and remember perfection is often over-rated.

Follow Slices of Life on Facebook and hit Like (please). Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or visit her website at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/.