Is it just me, or does it seem like the last few months of the year go incredibly fast? We hit October and there’s Halloween. You blink and it’s Thanksgiving. You blink again and it’s Christmas/Hanukkah, and one more blink and it’s an entirely New Year!
As I wrote in a previous post, we celebrate many holidays in our home. We keep the Christmas decorations up after the New Year until the 12 days of Christmas are over – January 6. The Littlest E was on break from school for 2-½ weeks and my husband took a staycation for 1 of those weeks. It was wonderful to have both of them home. Tom and I didn’t need to set an alarm clock because we knew our lively lad would wake us up around 6:30. I think once or twice during that week, we were blessed with a 7:00 appearance. The luxury of sleeping in! Part of me does look forward to the day when The Littlest E is a bit older and actually, truly does sleep in, however, I love the mornings when he wants to come in bed with us and hang out. It’s awesome family time. And, of course, our dog, Pepper, has to get in on the action, too.
Holiday time is such a busy time, with vacation, visiting friends, holiday gatherings, all the planning and prep it takes, etc., etc., etc. Many people take time to reflect at year’s end and come up with resolutions for the approaching year. I used to pick Angel Cards to see what words would be my focus for the year ahead. I’ve never really been a New Year’s resolution person though, and, since bringing The Littlest E home with us from Ethiopia 4+ years ago, there doesn’t seem too much time during the holidays for major introspection.
That time happened on January 6. Tom started back to work on January 5, and The Littlest E went back to school the next day. After I dropped him off, I came home, walked the dog and then proceeded to put away all our holiday decorations. It was the first time in a couple of weeks I was alone for an extended period. Pepper was resting and the house was quiet. The only sounds were cars driving by on a street nearby, the heat coming through the vents wafting warm air my way, and an occasional bird making its voice heard. It was the perfect opportunity for a bit of contemplation about the year past and the year ahead, and the floodgates of my mind opened with numerous thoughts rushing in.
We had a good year as a family last year. We traveled a bit to see our families, went to an Ethiopian adoptive heritage camp, went glamping with classmates from preschool, and took The Littlest E to Disneyland for the first time. The Littlest E began asking more questions about his adoption. Both Tom and I provided him and will continue to provide him with answers that are appropriate for his age. You’d be surprised at the kinds questions he was asking. Kids are perceptive and understand more than we think they do. I won’t go into details because it gets into territory that belongs to our son, since his adoption is his story to tell. I’m just really glad we are here at this point, and he’s asking. It’s so important for him and for everyone concerned.
I love my family and honestly, couldn’t ask for anything more, well, maybe a bigger house, but that will happen in due time. Our nightly gratitudes we say at dinner make me feel, well, grateful. I hear the things my son is grateful for and it puts a smile on my face. Pepper, joined the family this past September and she’s love personified. She fit right in with minimal adjustment. Our new routine of daily walks including one in the morning with my son, allows me special one-on-one time with him, and a bit of exercise to boot. I love just being with him. We’re all good. Tom and I could always use more date nights, but I think we have a balance that works. I want to continue to love and support my hubby in all his endeavors.
The explosion of growth that has gone on with The Littlest E this year, not just height, but brain power, imagination, energy, and appetite. You name it. He’s sight-reading some words, and they’re learning to write in class. Watching him figure things out is one of the neatest things I’ve seen or when he’s focused on building something with his Magna Tiles or figuring out answers to questions from his Sylvan learning books, it’s the best. His imagination is on fire. The first part of last year was all about the Ninja Turtles. Then the last six months and currently, it’s everything Star Wars. Everything is a lightsaber or sword. He’s watched a Star Wars movie with lightsaber in hand ready to do battle along the other Jedi, literally. We have rules of play in the house that he observes (most of the time). He can fight with Darth Wingback or Darth Couch, but can’t fight with Mom and Dad, if neither of us cares to join in. And he loves stories, too. Right now Tom is reading to him a lot of Greek myths. The Littlest E LOVES them and regularly asks on the way to school, “Tell me a story, Mommy.” Star Wars, Disney movies, Eurydice, anything made up, often make the ask list. Being a Mom is the coolest thing.
A headspace occupier for us this past year has been the quest for a kindergarten. When I was a child, schools were vastly different. So it’s been a blog-worthy journey trying to figure out the best option for our son. We’re not sure how things will unfold. We’ll know in the next few months. We just hope we do right by our son, and are excited about where he’s headed for his next phase of life and education.
Aside from a bit of skin cancer, I had a pretty good year. Now that The Littlest E is older and heading off to kindergarten in the fall, I’m ready to get back to work and start contributing financially to our house. In serving on the board of Connect-A-Kid and working on my project, I discovered that I’m pretty adept in reaching out to strangers, making cold calls, and networking, particularly when I truly believe in something. I’ve got my project and I’m also partnering with a girlfriend to help her event company thrive. I’m excited about both opportunities and have faith that it’s all going to fall into place one way or another. Somehow the Universe has always provided, when I do the footwork. The biggest challenge from last year, as I think with any parent or person for that matter, is balance, when to say yes, when to say no, and when to take action or take it easy. Balance will be key this year, too.
So, no resolutions, though more exercise should be on the list as well as cutting back on watching so much television, just ideas and thoughts about 2015, and reflections on 2014. With life there are ups and downs. Hopefully, the year ahead will have more ups than downs. Hopefully, all the grandparents will stay healthy. Hopefully, the year will be filled with wonderful adventures, good times with family and friends, and personal, professional, spiritual and emotional growth for the three of us. We’ll see how the year unfolds!
Images: Cindy Kilpatrick, Melanie Elliott