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rachel sontag rachelsontag.com

rachel sontag rachelsontag.com
To Visitors:

The website we have constructed is designed to “Set Things Right.” For the most part, we are very private individuals. Neither of us talks about ourselves or about the family. In fact, we hardly talk about ourselves to ourselves. In the beginning, preparing the website was difficult. It did not take long, however, to discover that we were sitting in possession of a massive archive of practically our entire lives – on film, micro-videocassette, videocassettes, essays, letters, correspondence, notes, cards, etc. We were flabbergasted to realize how much of a person’s normal life is forgotten – buried somewhere in the cerebral library – even when those memories are ones that you really want to remember. Readers may be surprised to find a now-adult daughter who had enjoyed not only a happy childhood, but also one of the most privileged, warm, safe and loving homes a child could dream of. Readers are invited to witness this privileged childhood in Rachel’s own handwriting, in her own words, in her own voice, and in her own actions.

This site as of September 2008 contains less than 2% (That’s right: less than two percent) of the Sontag library documents sitting on shelves or housed in our bookcases or cabinets. We were concerned, however, that even this tiny percentage might be sufficient to lull readers into deep slumber. Therefore, we took the liberty to splice out long periods of silence or drivel, when subjects were either comatose or giddy with exhaustion.

We hope our presentation provides some balance, lighter moments and truth to the growing up years in the Sontag household. In all of our lives, we never thought we would share these moments with anyone. We admit, however, that although we ourselves had forgotten many of the magnificent memories, we are more than pleased to share them with you now. Enjoy!

Please join with us in our neurotic belief that from every unhappy event comes something good – if we make it so.

Rachel: So Why Did You Trash Us?

When you were one...
We gave you life.

When you were two…
We gave you the safety net of a stable home.

When you were three…
We gave you the freedom to begin to separate and explore your world from a base of love.

When you were four…
We gave you the extended world of friends and family.

When you were five…
We gave you fertile ground to talk about the new ideas you were learning at school.

When you were six…
We gave you our time and support as you learned to use letters and numbers.

When you were seven…
We recognized and affirmed your emerging abilities, your goodness and your worthiness.

When you were eight…
We encouraged your love of learning by reading to you and taking you to places that tickled your curiosity.

When you were nine…
We taught you to live a healthy life, focusing on the life long importance of good nutrition and exercise.

When you were ten…
We gave you a spiritual foundation, a love of G-d and a love of our traditions.

When you were eleven…
We stressed the importance of helping you to face the tests and difficulties in life with confidence and grace.

When you were twelve…
We gave you the gift of discipline and structure so that you would have strength and direction in life.

When you were thirteen…
We encouraged social awareness. We reserved a lot of time for questions and discussion so that you would have a stake in our world.

When you were fourteen…
We supported your new found love of acting by sending you to arts camp and coming to watch all your plays.

When you were fifteen…
We tried to understand your angst with family, friends and other emotional issues by going to counseling with you and sending you to individual counseling.

When you were sixteen…
We encouraged your decision to become a page in Washington.

When you were seventeen…
We continued to support and fund your desire to explore the world by sending you on a trip out west and a trip to Ireland that you asked to go on.

When you were eighteen…
We studied with you, staying up late at night to help you through difficult classes, SAT and ACT preparation and college applications. We took the summer to visit colleges. We took out loans so we could completely fund your education.

When you were nineteen…
We tried to understand your decision to quit college and tried to be sensitive to the struggles and growing pains of emerging adulthood.

When you were twenty…
We supported your decision to study and live abroad, funding your studies and providing the means for you to live.

When you were twenty one…
We helped you to apply to and set up your transition to the University of Wisconsin. We purchased the new computer you requested and helped you to set up your apartment in Madison. We gave you the money to completely pay your college tuition.

And for all those years…
We tried our hardest to provide you with social, emotional and material support and love.

So Why Did You Trash Us?

 

 

rachel sontag rachelsontag.com

Letter from Mom


To Rachel from Mom:

After listening to years of well written and often funny stories of your growing-up days, I looked forward to reading them in print. I was shocked to discover how the stories had changed – how distorted they had become. From serious, honest, and mostly humorous depictions of not-so-perfect parents who loved you and who committed to you every ounce of their energy, your stories deteriorated into bitter, small and dishonest diatribes that we could not even recognize. For one reason or another you changed the entire character of your book.

We have known that for the last ten years you have been unhappy. We also knew, despite what you were telling people, that only you could free yourself from your self-imposed unhappiness. We did not imagine that you were so desperate.

Dad and I have constructed a website that returns the honesty, the love, the dedication, the commitment, the balance, the humor and, most importantly, the truth to the reality of your growing-up years.

Do not click here
If you look for a fight.
No moaning or groaning or desperate plight.
Truth telling only, darkness to light,
For this is the site to set things right.


The Sontag family has long maintained that they settled in America in 1292 - a good 200 years before Christopher Columbus landed in Hispaniola with the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

The Sontag family’s claim is supported by this recently discovered photograph (circa 1298) showing the group’s whereabouts in central Kentucky as they fled the Inquisition in Europe. 

                                            
                                                            

 
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