Thursday, December 29, 2011
New Year's Resolutions and the Like.....
I write from the Ohio home I inherited from my mom.
My family and I drove here from Miami, Florida. It’s Christmas time.
10:09 pm est
spent Christmas day with aunts Deane and Lou; cousins Janice, Terri and Traci: their children Rick, Taylor, Logan and McKenna,
our neighbor down the street here in Ohio--his name is Dale; my husband, Larry and our children Lana and Ben.
We ended up hosting the party. I found out we would be the hosts on the drive to
the house. I laughed. I thought Aunt Deane was putting on the party. I thought my family and I would need
to do no more than show up--maybe with a “baked-good“ in tow.
Aunt Deane exclaimed when I called from the car as we crossed the state line into Ohio, “Janice is going to be
at your house too!”
A conversation Aunt Deane and I’d had before
this “you are having the party” conversation led me to believe she would have the get-together. She decided differently.
She was probably relieved I’d told her I’d have it if she didn’t want to. I didn’t
expect her to actually take me up on that cavalier offer.
It worked out well though, in that
I simply opened the house and my family brought all of the food. It was easy. We just needed a place.
Our house, on a lake here in Ohio, was the perfect spot.
I am seated now on the heated patio of the house. It’s really pretty. It’s
quiet. It looks quiet; feels quiet. Trees have no leaves. Water has no waves.
Ground (sadly for my Florida children!) has no snow; it’s just kind of grayish brown. I love
I am alone; post party and post party clean up.
went looking for left over’s last night. There were none. I found out my daughter had generously
made plates for all family members as they were leaving--leaving us no food. Ruefully I laughed.
Oh well. It had been a great day.
I write all the above to get to
the two “I laughed” parts. I could have made different choices. I sometimes do.
I could have chosen not to laugh when I found out we had no dinner food. I could have gotten mad at my daughter.
I could have gotten impatient and exasperated—maybe
anxious too—when, at the last minute, I found out I was the Christmas party host.
My children will tell you I sometimes lose my patience. They’re
right. I yell from time to time.
I will tell you that I wink and I smile at my children
too. I kiss them. I often tell them I love them. I make a point of it. Even
when I yell, most often I yell something like this: “You are too wonderful to behave that way!”
So I think, in the imperfect mess of daily living, I am doing at least an above average job of parenting.
I’d give myself a solid “B”. I’m working hard at maintaining my “3.0.”
Oh but that elusive parenting 4.0!
Every now and again my children and I have
an “Advanced Placement (AP)” 4.0 experience. Receiving a family experience AP 4.0 is really
like getting a 6.0. Two extra points for the effort!
Most often our AP 6.0’s come, not from a trip to Disney World or
Santa’s Enchanted Forest, but from our shared simple experiences.
When my children were
bitty people, I would “interview” them. I would hold a pretend microphone and, for example,
ask my son: “So, Mr. Williams, may I ask you some questions?” Ben and Lana never knew
when I would turn into “Newscaster Mom.”
Ben, my two year old darling boy,
loved when I would hold “the microphone” out to him. He would flap his arms and kick his feet
in his eagerness to respond to my questions.
I would occasionally
follow up and query, “Are you then saying Mr. Williams, that…..you prefer CHEERIOS to FRUIT LOOPS?!”
“Ms. Williams”, I might then say to my three year old daughter Lana, “You seem to be enjoying
your breakfast. May I ask what it is? Your adoring fans would love to know,” I
would state as I thrust the “microphone” near her.
Her delight at my questioning
was a 6.0 AP parenting experience for sure.
My children loved being interviewed. I interviewed
At the library I would clear my throat, assume my best newscaster voice and
begin: “Ahem, er, ah, tell me Mr. Williams, what is your book about?”
Playing basketball I would become the game’s announcer: “And the world waits breathlessly as she takes
the shot…. She scores! The planet goes wild…..
it’s time to get ready for dinner.”
Our AP experiences bring my parenting
GPA way up.
Mostly though, I am, as I have told you, a solid
My husband will tell you I worry too much. He’s right. I am a “fretter”.
I will tell you that is a tough one for me. I worry a lot. I lose some sleep.
Losing sleep worries me and makes me lose more sleep.
I worry about my children, not all the time, just some of the time. That lowers my parenting GPA.
I worry about the children at my school. I worry about health-mine and other people’s;
world war; politics.
I worry about my sump pump. Is it going
to work all winter here in Ohio? Will the pipes freeze?
I can fret with the best of fretters the
world offers. That all lowers my life experience GPA.
back to the “I laughed” parts of all of this and tying them into resolutions and hopes for the New Year:
I am going to strive for the perfect 4.0 life experience GPA. I know it’s
impossible. I hope I laugh about it.
it’s still 2011 as I write….I think I’ll worry about all of this....just a little.....
Happy New Year!
P.S. I return to "My Story" next week.
And this: I will soon attend The
Workplace Bullying Institute's training. I cannot wait to tell you all about it!
Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....