My One New Years Resolution 2011
Thank you for all your Trader Joes coaching. Pretty much what I heard was: Look for things dipped in chocolate. We’ve already gone through several packs of tahitian vanilla truffles (dipped in chocolate), which my low brow children keep calling chocolate covered raisins. And thank you too for the info on oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract to ward off strep throat – I learn so much from you guys!
This post is a re-post from last year, because it’s still true.
My One New Years Resolution
Sometimes I long to press pause, yank the needle off the spinning record, and slow the forward march of our lives. If I could stop the galloping of time, perhaps I’d always have one hand on the curve of Rose’s full moon belly while being perpetually blinded by the bright skyline of Col’s baby-tooth smiles. I’d forever know how the kids fit perfectly on my hips, as if we were all carved from the same chunk of clay.
But this is not the way of things. Rose’s belly will stretch into a flat knock-off of its former self. Col’s baby pearls will clunk out leaving awkward spaces, and their bodies will inch taller until my hips post a sad sign stating “no occupancy.”
But there is an antidote to this grasping of a particular moment so tightly that my fingers ache. And this is my one New Year’s resolution. It is the same resolution I will make every year, every day, until I’m driving the kids off to college, or to the Grateful Dead Revival Tour, or even until they’re carting their boisterous grandchildren into my odd-smelling nursing home.
I wish to be present with these children, to enjoy this very short time we have together.
This means, when I’m reading The Lorax to the kids for the eleventy-fifth time this week—overdue and accruing library fines like dust on our ceiling fans—that I won’t be plotting e-mails or dinner plans. I will be attentive enough to notice how Rose’s eyebrows rise into crescent moons when the Lorax first appears. I will breathe in Col’s childlike awe, his marveling at the pure wizardry of reading.
And when the kids are away from me, I will let them be away, enjoying our separation. And when they are with me, there will still be laundry to fold and meals to cook. But when we’re all sprawled on the floor playing the animal matching game, I will really be there.
I will fail at this resolution daily. I will sing Col his nightly lullaby and miss the moment his eyelids flutter closed like a landing bird because I am thinking about ice cream in the freezer. When the afternoon is yawning into the long, one-way tunnel of evening and Col is zipping rubber bands across the room maniacally and Rose is flinging herself into a boneless puddle of despair because I won’t let her have a cough drop, I will want to bend time forward with my mind.
But every now and then I will remember. I will wake up on an ordinary day to our brief lives intertwined like DNA strands and remember how lucky we are, right now. And even when Rose is crying over a denied cough drop, I will embrace this time together, hearing through the sniffles her brave heart tapping out its pattern of life, this life that I love so much.
And I will try again tomorrow.
**feel free to leave your New Years Resolution in the comments