Releasing the Snake, and getting ready to face the Horse…

Dear 2013,

We are about to part ways forever.  Our relationship is nearing its denouement.  In a few hours (less than 12 hours,) you will be another memory, a period of time we think of at times fondly, at times with relief that it’s over, at times with nostalgia.  A part of me is sad to see you go; you are, after all, the year of many red-letter moments, many steps forward, many happy surprises.  Another part of me can’t wait to see you out of here: you’ve brought with you quite a bit of strife, some very bad teeth, and so forth.  We all got a year older, and we’re (hopefully) working on repeating the process again this year…

This was the year when J learned that he can be patient if he can communicate.  We were very grateful for that development.  This was the year that we stuck to ONE Slinky…like the One Ring…he’s still around…slightly bent, pretty dulled by overuse, but “THE Slinky” nonetheless.  The whole guardianship kerfuffle got taken care of, and so did J’s bad teeth.

All in all, 2013 was the year of the teeth, guardianship, the iPad, storybooks, more ASL, a new doctor, less med, and beet chips…and yogurt…and pear chips…and vegetables…and exercise…  It is also the year of the return of the random tantrum.  It is the year that J got taller and stronger, and more opinionated.  In a lot of ways, J has broadened his scope, and in others he’s sought the comfort of all that is familiar to him.  Both things have been, oddly enough, perfectly fine for me.

The move to our new home was the most-organized-chaos I’ve ever experienced, and -let’s call a spade a spade- it beat the crap out of us.  Moving was, however, one of the best decisions we’ve made in a while.  We are more comfortable.  We have more space.  We got our couch back.  J has his bedroom for sleeping, and his TV room for everything else.  I got chased down the stairs by the ginormous bean bag he bought for himself, but that -too- has been a good choice.  That oasis he’s put together includes everything he loves to do, and it also includes us…four times now J has invited us to watch movies in his TV room.  Furthermore, J has actually sat down with us in the dining room to watch movies that, generally, he would not want to watch: Alastair Sim’s Scrooge, two separate episodes of Hornblower, and Bill Murray’s Scrooged.  We know he’s done it for the company, but we’re thrilled nonetheless…J actually wants to spend time with us, and is willing to meet us, as it were, halfway.  We’ve sat in his movie for Katy Perry’s movie, two Shirley Temple movies (The Littlest Colonel and The Little Princess,) and Annie.  We can now invite him to the garage to exercise, and he will work his way through very simple routines we’ve put together for him…all while having a great deal of fun.

Looking back on 2013 I see a lot of ups and downs, and a lot of sidewinding.  That’s ok.  That’s the way it’s supposed to work, I guess.  I had an uncle who used to fly to Spain every year for Christmas.  He traveled alone, relishing the experience of seeing the friends he’d made there while working on his many degrees.  He was a handsome and brilliant man, and I named my firstborn after him.  Tonight I will be filled with longing for all those people I’ve lost over the years, and I will look at my crazy little family and hope that -if there is such a thing as Heaven or a an After Life- the fruit of my labor as a mother and wife will be clearly visible from where they’re perched.  I am getting older, and these are the days when one feels time has to be running out…clearly, it is no longer unlimited…

So I leave you with this: whether 2013 was good or bad for you, it’s nearly over.  We have a whole new chance ahead of us, and it’s very likely that -like every other year we’ve encountered throughout our lives- it will have some really good crap in it, and some pretty bad crap.  We can’t give up on it before it starts, and so we forge ahead with enthusiasm and caution, hope and trepidation.  The main thing is that we don’t have unlimited opportunities, and we don’t know the number we have left…so we need to just live.  Every day is blank, and we carry into it what we want, or what gets stuck to the sole of our shoe…  Undoubtedly, we will have 2013 aftershocks following us into 2014, and that’s fine…  It’s all good, even when it’s not.  It’s all possible, even when it doesn’t seem to be.  Regrets over what we’ve done are preferable to regrets over what we haven’t even attempted.

Onwards.  Upwards.  Sideways.  Catch you on the flip side…may you have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and may 2014 be as full of possibilities as you want it to be…



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