It’s time to turn the tables on my mom.

Every year, my mother writes a hilarious letter that goes out with our holiday cards. It typically details my family’s life throughout the year, summarizing the shenanigans that everyone’s been up to. My mom, the self-professed queen of snark, is consistently able to write uproarious yet thoughtful letters that are filled to the brim with stories.

This year, we’ve taken our letter in a different direction. It’s the younger generation’s turn to tell our friends and family what Cummins life is really like. The vote fell squarely to me, as my brother was busy and the dog has no voice for satire. I’m giving it a practice run for all you readers of this paper. Here goes!

Happy holidays!

Senior year is flying by and the Cummins family is up to our typical antics.

Mom has grown very indignant that I am going to college and refuses to acknowledge it. She pretends not to know what standardized testing is, or how to operate a computer so she can avoid the FAFSA.

College, however, isn’t the biggest problem on her mind. She is more concerned about the state of my room than the state of my grades. I may be incapable of solving complicated equations, but as long as my bed is made I should be able to cure cancer, I guess.

Dad has really enjoyed the year. At least I can speculate from the snippets of responses I hear when he’s not on his phone answering emails. Now, I’m very grateful for the work dad does, but it gets a little old when he tells us for the fourth time to turn our phones off at the table while he’s looking at his phone. At the table. I’m starting to think he’s part teenager.

My theory is further supported by Dad’s current obsession with Starbucks. For some, 2017 was the year of the monkey; for him, it was the year of the Caramel Apple Spice. If my Starbucks gift cards start to disappear, I’ll know who the culprit is.

The dog, too, is exhibiting adolescent behavior. He spends his afternoons searching for things to do. He’s not particularly discerning. He’ll settle for activities such as sleeping on the couch, sleeping on the floor, or sleeping in my bed. He prefers eating, though, and will forage around until he finds something to snack on. My brother, Patrick, usually beats him to it. As such, he’s willing to settle for squirrel poop. The dog, that is. Patrick will eat most anything but he does know where to draw the line — unless it’s game day.

This year, Patrick has reached new heights. Literally. I have to look up to him. Also literally. Being the shortest person in the family has its benefits. I don’t know what they are yet so please do write in if you are under 5’5”.

As for me, I’ve spent the year researching ways to afford college. Possibilities include bribery, witchcraft, and voodoo. When I’m not doing that, I’m learning what Mom calls “life lessons” that will prepare me for college. These include doing laundry, cooking ramen from a box and calling home for cash.

Every year Mom counts blessings and I will close by doing the same. I’m lucky to have inherited her knack for satire, and to have such a hilarious family. I’m very grateful for my friends, my teachers, and this wonderful Wilton community. Now, I just have to convince Mom to use that satiric touch to write my supplemental essays …


Maggie Cummins is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.