There were a lot of changes for our family in 2013. We sold our house and lived mortgage free for a couple of months. Then three major things happened all at once. We bought a new house, I started a new part-time job and my oldest started his new school. It's been an adjustment for all of us, but surprisingly, not a hard one to make. In fact, the only problem of note is that my husband has been late more than he's been on time to work because it's a longer commute and we have not yet mastered the new early morning schedule (a.k.a., getting up when the alarm goes off instead of snoozing several times). Aside from that, we are especially happy to have stuck to our guns in selecting the town and house we now reside in because it has worked out better than we could have hoped. I can feel our family turning a corner. Two out of three children are potty trained and can coherently communicate their thoughts, beverage choices and unrealistic demands. The youngest is really really good at pulling you by the hand, pointing and then stamping her feet when you tell her no. She loves holding her dolls and playing dress-up, but can hang with the boys by swinging around dinosaurs and participating in nightly pile-ons. The boys love her to death and pepper her with hugs and kisses, especially if it means they can snag whatever toy she's holding. They are the sweetest, most darling, threesome I have ever had the joy of seeing. Sometimes, when they're chasing each other making their usual detour right where I am trying to wash dishes or prep dinner, I shout, "Get out of my kitchen!" a little louder than necessary because it sounds so very mommy-ish and I believe in anything that may strengthen their bond, even if it involves the occasional plotting and execution of annoying antics on mommy.
My oldest is steal wheeling and dealing and I'm making efforts to provide him with more decision-making power. He is and always will be a stubborn force pressing the limits of me and my husband's authority, but I want him to learn how to recognize when rules and boundaries are needed. I don't want him to be a mindless sheep in the herd, but the more he knows when to follow, the more he will know how and when to lead. He has become my Frank Sinatra, making a name for himself and doing it his way.
My middle child is his brother's shadow whenever Frank is around, but when he's alone, he's quite and contemplative. He becomes so much more absorbed in his tasks and content with playing by himself without Frank stirring up trouble. He has interests that differ from Frank's, but most of the time he just follows his big brother with the idolatry of a younger sibling. However, for as much hurricane force as his brother approaches everything with, this one flies under the radar. He is more of the tall, strong, silent type and tends to throw a lot of elbow into his walk. Old-fashioned, but never out of fashion, he's our John "Duke" Wayne.
My little girl, the youngest of the bunch, is the most darling of them all. She's insanely adorable in the way that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler with rosy cheeks can be and can put on a mean scowl which only makes us laugh and, in turn, she just scowls harder. Where the oldest attempts to take by force, she attempts to attain by sweet looks and girly babbling. Like her brother, Duke, she amuses herself well and she has a much more gentle in her approach to play than her brothers. She will happily play dress up with the policeman outfit, accessorizing with a purse and sunglasses. She exerts more force than Duke, but in a way more subtle and delicate than Frank. Her personality is developing so differently than her brothers', but she definitely knows how to put on a show. Her two cowlicks still shock her hair up in the back, so I just can't resist calling her Phyllis Diller.
My husband is still my rock, my boulder, my slow-thud and I continue to fall more in love with him everyday. He still makes mistakes (like my Christmas present; points for thoughtfulness, but deductions on romanticism), but so do I. Everything he does is done with a little extra sweetness, albeit sometimes slower than I would prefer, but that's what makes him my Honey. He's the good stuff and worth the wait.
As for me, I'm doing well. I have a low-stress, flexible, part-time job with several people I get along well with. I feel more and more like my self B.C. (Before Children) each day. Postpartum Depression is not a scary monster looming over my shoulder any more. My life is not without hiccups and bumps, but when I step back to assess everything, I can't help but feel grateful and lucky. It's not all peaches and cream, but I'm pretty good at sorting out the bad fruit and, together with Honey who makes a great pie crust from scratch, I believe we will make a damn good pie out of this year.
As Anne of Anne of Green Gables would say, tomorrow is a new day without any mistakes in it. I look forward to 2014, to the mistakes that may come and to the tomorrows that will bring fresh starts.