Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dear 2013

Dear 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.



  1. Happy New Year to you, and may we all enjoy the ride of 2014, or, at the very least, hang on tight.

    1. Happy New Year, Shannon! Is 2014 taking me on a roller coaster ride? Woo-hoo! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love this line: "watch something drop--could be something in Times Square or our own eyelids way before midnight". I will probably have the ball-drop in the background while I type away on the computer, scheduling posts for January...or maybe just cuddled in the hubby's arms. Who knows!

    So awesome that DS is not getting as frustrated as easily and is asking for help. Funny that DD just needs to every little thing. Come to think of it, both sound like my 3 yr old toddler. He gets frustrated easily though sometimes he asks for help without prompting. And he is butting-into conversations all the time these days. Hahaha. Funny. How things come and go. Development-wise.

    Can't wait to see what 2014 brings!

    1. Hi, Lisa! I went to bed WAY TO LATE on NYE, or rather, NYD. Time flies when you're sipping champagne and just watching TV!

      Following your 3yo's developmental timeline sure brings back memories of my own kiddos! This tween thing, though, is something else--cute and exasperating all at the same time! Happy New Year! It's gonna be a good year!

  3. I can so relate to the barrage of constant questions and interruptions by the tween girl. My (newly) teen boy on the other hand is a man of few words! :) Happy New Year!!!

    1. Hi, Susi! Maybe it's a girly thing. Although I can already picture DS yapping away (but only at home). Your teen of few words is surely growing into a man and I know you're a proud mama! Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you for reading! (Did ya see your button ---> to the right, right here? ;-) )

  4. Happy New Year, Sandra! I haven't stopped by here in awhile and have missed your musings greatly. May this year bring you a sense of fulfillment, accomplishment and adventure. May you have health and happiness and love in your home.
    Side note, here - what is with the tweens needing to know EVERYTHING? It makes us insane every time K asks what is that for, what are you doing, why????? :)

    1. Cindy!! So happy to see you and your lovely wishes! Thank you! I'm so glad you can relate to my tween issues--you always are able to make me feel less alone at this. She literally just cannot help herself. If I think back hard enough, I guess I *may* have done the same. Sigh.

      Happy New Year to you and your fabulous family, too! May you be surrounded by love, laughter, and joy in 2014!

  5. This is beautiful and sweet. (Yes, I'm two days behind in reading..way to start off the new year, right? :) )

    I had to laugh at the tween questions when you try to have a conversation. My eleven-year old does that to us, but now we use his own words against him and say, "this is an A and B conversation, so C your way out." We get an eye roll, but it shuts him up :)

    P.S. This stubborn mule still can't let go of the two spaces after a period. Sorry. Maybe next year!

    I hope your new year is off to a great start!

    1. Aww, thanks, Janna! You're always so good about reading and commenting, and I would never consider you behind! That is funny about your tween; now he has a taste of his own medicine, huh?! I haven't heard of that saying before!

      I think I gave up on the space after spending enough time on social media. And I've read enough argument against the need for it, so I've finally relented. The transition has been gradual, though not on the blog, so we'll see how that goes. Happy New Year to you and all your "boys", and wishing you much happiness and health in 2014!

  6. This is a great tip. Thank you. I think that this will work if you have the visitors coming in the first place. Sometimes it is very difficult to get people to comment and interact. I am in the process of writing a series that I am hoping will generate some interaction!