When the words ‘Why don’t we all go to the park?’ were uttered, the moment was not lost on me. I told Sean to get his socks and shoes and I closed my Bullet Jounal, left a mess and got my things.
Because…what if this is the last time?
When the boys were younger, going to the park was a daily occurrence, practically a holy sacrement for many years. It was a necessity among all the other daily requirements.
But these days, this doesn’t happen. Ever. I am usually pleased when all 4 are just home, under my roof (so rare these days) at the same time.
The little cartoon devil and angel took up residence on my shoulders and whispered their own versions of the events in my ears.
Devil: This is it. One of the ‘lasts’. You might never see this again.
Angel: Sun. Laughter. Running children playing with each other. Soak it in because it’s one of life’s beautiful things.
Devil: Who knows if this will ever happen again.
Angel: Who knows if this will ever happen again.
The moment did not escape me. I grabbed it with both hands and reveled in it. I packed up this memory, carefully, and made sure I noted each and every detail.
Lately, I’ve been hit with the sentiment that goes something like, “Little kids, little problems, big kids….” So, maybe when the problems get too big, we can still solve them at the park.
My sister’s and my kids were raised more like siblings. For several years, I was my niece and nephew’s childcare provider and the kids were raised all together.
I never intended for this motley little crew to grow up. I have no idea what I expected to happen, but I could not have aniticipated what today looks like back when I had a lovely little brood of ducklings following me around. Once, during a discussion that Gavin and I were having, he asked if I thought that I was just going to make pancakes and take them to the park and everything would be just fine!?
‘Yes.’ I replied. ‘That is exactly what I thought and I did not have a Plan B’. Everything is fine, but they don’t want to go to the park and definitely DO NOT follow me around.
They grew up anyhow, against my best advice and deepest wishes. Turns out they are doing pretty well. This weekend we bid farwell to the only girl, who intends to go rule the world. Have at it, Samantha!! Go, Ospreys!!
If you don’t like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, you are doing it all wrong. I concede that you don’t have to do it my way – but mark the event in SOME WAY! If you like it quiet, I guess that’s ok, but I’ll be here singing Karaoke.
In the days preceeding the epic event (I still haven’t convinced you?), I enjoy reviewing last year – who says Facebook is a waste of time? I like dreaming about the next year, making lists, goals, and yes, a dreaded ‘resolution’ or five. For the past three years, I have been using the lovely Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook. It is totally cool to spend the last days of the year or the first few days of the next working on it. I think you will thank me – or at least thank Susannah. I would not have known about this book without this smart chick. I think she can help you too – check out her blog.
Sure, you can pick a random time in March or some other time during the year to look back on the year, think about some things you’d like to add to your life or accomplish, write a mission statement – reset, reboot and restart, but are you going to? I’ve made it a habit to do it this time of year. It just seems to make the most sense and I feel like I have the wind at my back.
Get a new notebook.
Dream about what your life would look like if you were in charge! Ha! Wait. You are.
Make a few goals about learning to play a song on the guitar or ‘Kondo-ing‘ your whole house, or lowering your blood pressure or completing a writing class or reading a few books on astrology. Whatever. You pick.
Clearly, this is just my humble opinion – but try it – you might like it. My other advice is to PARTY. If you’re idea of party is way more subdued than mine and my friends, that’s ok too. I’ll heart your Instagram photos of you under your electric blanket with your cats!
Just remeber – I’ll be here singing karaoke. ~ See you in 2018.
It seems that I have complained about my relationship with the ‘Hallmark-type-Christmas-Holiday’ here and here, so there is no need to beat a dead horse.
Instead, let’s talk about something that I love.
I don’t recall ever hearing the words ‘Winter Solstice’ when I was growing up. Maybe it was because I come from an uber-conservative sect of christianity that might have considered marking this day as contradictory to the belief system. But not so! As far as I can tell, it fits into everyone’s system – we’re all here on the planet with these astronomical events happening all of the time – and I don’t want to miss any more of them.
Such a gigantic, celestial occurence seems to be overlooked by so many. If you went outside and paid attention, you would have known that the sun spent the day in a super-low arc in the sky. My favorite golden orb was framed by windows in my house that seldom see it since it spends most of the year much higher in the sky. It cast nice, long shadows – the longest of the year, in fact. Sadly, so many folks left that unwitnessed.
Dennis and the boys indulged my devotion to the day that the sun comes back. I need longer days! We lit luminaries on the front steps, candles in the house and a fire in the hearth – and we haven’t done that in a long time. I thought I was pushing my luck presenting them with an evening of building graham cracker houses. Turns out, they enjoyed it way more than I thought they would.
I often find it hard to feel joy during this frantic time of year, but I made it through the darkest night with the ones I love, and that makes me feel happy and hopeful. I will continue to build solstice celebrations into my household traditions in the coming years. You must know how much I love the opposing solstice, right?