Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Soon the sun will set and we will bid you farewell. We will replace our wall calendars and try to remember not to pre-date anything by like a year. We will pour bubblies and watch something drop--could be something in Times Square or our own eyelids way before midnight. Even though today is really no different from tomorrow, you will become a thing of the past: a was, a has been.
But before you go, I'd like to thank you for a few things you have taught me.
I have learned that it is really okay to not fold clean laundry right away. Or just never. I say that because parenting is hard work. Dear Son is finally starting to grasp the futility of getting upset over making mistakes during violin practices. He is finally understanding that's why we practice. Instead of of the ugliness that usually ensues, he now asks, calmly and quietly, Mama, can you help me? or Can we try that again? To which my mama heart just melts into globs and globs of sugary goo. Even though it only took seventeen months for that to happen, it happened. He's trying. The growth I see in him makes me feel like I've done something right. And for a parent, that's huge. I would cup his baby-soft cheeks in my hands and tell him how proud I am of his progress. He would answer back with a smile matching the sheer delight behind mine.
But what does this have to do with folding laundry, you ask? Let's just say that at that Happy Moment, neither one of us cared whether our knickers were stored neatly inside our drawers or sitting wrinkled in the laundry basket. Whatevs.
Oh, and same goes for the dishes that are okay to sit in the sink overnight. I'm sure I can think of some other proud parenting moment to justify that crime.
I have learned that tweens must know everything. To whom am I texting. What book am I reading. Why am I chuckling at my phone. And what am I doing with walking towards you with that roll of duct tape in my hands??? During every one of my conversations with Dear Husband these days, I am sure to hear: Who? What did you say? What did I just miss? What are we talking about? To which I would reply: We, as in your daddy and I, are talking about someone you don't know doing something you don't need to know. DH is always much more loving and patient than I, giving Dear Daughter some explanation or details. I, on the other hand, lament the fact that I can no longer have a conversation with DH without interruption or one-hundred-one questions. But I know--the wisdom of foresight tells me to tolerate this while the tween still engages in conversations with us.
Cuz maybe 2016 will teach me something else.
Anyway, moving on.
I have learned the meaning of "lucky." It is still having the chest flutters at the sight of him across the room. It is I finishing his sentences and he spot-on with my thoughts. It is the privilege of knowing the stories behind our graying hairs and wrinkled smiles. It is in the glances that speak, the actions that tell, and the signature smirk that says, You're the one who wanted children.
Yep. I'm the lucky one with the children and their snarky father.
I have learned that besides being a mother, I am happiest as a teacher and a writer. I belong in the classroom, and my fingers belong on a keyboard. Being able to carry out both of these roles has been my accomplishment this year. I am grateful for the opportunity for teaching and learning with children, and I am thankful for this little space I have here as my playground for words and photos.
I have learned to never forget the practice of expressing Gratitude. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who continues to come here to read my Letters and relate to my stories. It is an incredible honor to send my words out into the interwebz have have readers receive them with their eyes, heart, and mind. From the bottom of my heart: Thank you for going on my ride.
So, Dear 2013, you have taught me well, and I will remember you the same (thank goodness for this blog). And to mark the end of an era, I have learned to finally accept the modern typography practice of using one space (instead of two) after a period (or the end of a sentence). Shocking, I know. But even a 40-year-old mule can still learn, and miracles do indeed happen.
Good day, 2013, and as you descend into history, we will all take a moment and reflect upon the events and milestones that brought us to where we are standing. Whether we see moments of joy or sorrow, events grand or trivial, memories vivid or fading, we have traversed your time and shall now move on. I hope that you feel as accomplished and remarkable about yourself as I do.
So long, and farewell.