Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A full year


Let me start by saying, Happy New Year! I’m optimistic and excited. It’s a new year after all. Brand new stories. Clean slate. A time for renewal. And maybe more snow.

On the other hand, I’m also sad to see 2012 go. I realized the other day that it was perhaps the best year of my life, and the funny thing is, nothing spectacular happened.

At this time of the year, I notice many people are looking for a new word to carry them throughout the next twelve months, like “courage” or “strength”. I can’t seem to find one that I’d like to settle on for my future, but when I think about 2012, the first word that comes to mind is full.

From being full of anxiety at the beginning of the year, when My Guy left his corporate job to become an entrepreneur, to being full of hope towards the end, knowing that if we made it the first year with relative ease, perhaps things will work out fine for us after all.

It was also full of surprises as I didn’t expect to veer off from my career path to explore the world of the stay-at-home parent (with the occasional freelance gig). It was meant to be temporary, except after a summer with both girls home and a family in harmony, we started to toy with the idea of a more indefinite situation. We are still here.

Speaking of surprises, I planned a 30th birthday party for My Guy behind his back just a couple of days ago and miraculously pulled it off when he walked into a room full of our friends, yelling “surprise”, as scripted. I’m happy it worked without a hitch, he was glad to see so many friends from different aspects of his life congregating in one space, and my daughters were ecstatic because they were full of cake. Success!



“Oh right, she should probably see this too huh?”

“Daddy, let’s blow out the candles together!”

Today is his actual birthday, but instead of my usual gushing, I just want to simply say, “Welcome to your thirties, honey - I’m so glad you finally caught up with my decade. Maybe it’s about time we move on from the “you were in diapers” jokes. Oh, and I love you. Fully and completely.”

2012 was also wonder-full (that counts right?) for so many reasons. Thumper’s transformation from infant to toddler alone could fill a book of wonder, but because she’s the second child, said book does not exist. But that doesn’t mean we’re not crazy about her. Because we so are.

As for her sister, Little Miss and I developed a special quiet time between ourselves, where we would read, nap or craft together, and that helped soothe many of the inevitable clashes that came from our struggle for control and her need to vie for attention whenever her sister was around.

While I’ve had moments I’m not proud of as a parent with her, she also gave me one of my most powerful parenting moments. One afternoon in the fall, when she was restless and crying in bed due to a headache, I climbed in with her and massaged her forehead, following her brow lines with my thumbs with gentle pressure, trying to ease her pain.

We were lying on our sides, facing each other, and as the minutes passed, her eyes, initially moist with tears, started to close. When she was sound asleep, I stayed beside her. An hour later, she woke with a smile when she found me next to her. Her headache? Gone. As a parent, we want so much to ease the pain of our babies, and when that actually happens, I’m simultaneously grateful and blown away.

I’m also thankful for the weather as the year started with a mild winter, followed by a decent spring, then a gorgeous summer full of blue skies and a postcard-perfect fall in our fair city. Because of Mother Nature’s kindness, we were afforded many incredible days in the sand and water with our girls, and when I started running in early September, the canopy of fiery orange-red leaves above me and the golden yellow ones that lined my path were a beautiful (beauty-full?) distraction from a difficult activity.

And running! Wow. That’s another colossal surprise, as I’ve never been a runner. But when it became a regular thing, together with yoga, I started to feel so full of strength and energy. Like I could do anything I set my mind to accomplish, and so far, I have. Well, except for the part where I had to stop myself from the cookies during the holidays. That didn’t work so well.

BUT. This is a brand new year. I may not make resolutions, but I could at least start by attempting to consume fewer cookies. If my word for 2012 is “full”, maybe I should contemplate using “enough” for 2013. Like stop eating when I’ve had enough. Get enough sleep.

And enough with the writing. See “get enough sleep”.

Besides, I need to rest up as there’s more celebrating to do. Apparently, turning 30 is a big deal. I’m just glad I finally get to call him my “old man”. It’s perfect, because I can’t imagine growing old with anyone else.