This has been a year full of ups and downs. So should most be, because that's what keeps life interesting.
Positives for this past year included a fantastic trip to France, a new career direction for me, continued advancement for Musical Daddy in his new career path, excellent barbershopping experiences for him and me, new musical opportunities for the two older children, recreational baseball, and the cultivation and enrichment of several amazing friendships and working relationships.
Negatives for this year included a hospitalization for Musical Daddy, more money spent on car repairs than we would have preferred which resulted in us purchasing a new kidmobile (ultimately exciting but not financially ideal at all), broken leg for The Baby (who is 3.5 now...), and a third visit to the ER for chin stitches for Little Bear.
I'm certain that if I were to sit down and categorize everything, I'd be WAY ahead in the positives column. Overall I feel pretty darned good about this year, as evidenced by my very few but very powerful (commence horn-tooting...) posts. Powerful to me, anyway.
Last night we had a party at our house for New Years Eve. We had a few families come by, one of which stayed until midnight, and my parents and another friend also stayed until midnight. Good times. Great kids, all of them. And it's a game-changer when all children who stay up until midnight are toilet-trained and are independent enough to either play together or contribute meaningfully to games with adults. The two hits of the evening were Phase 10 and Spot It! as well as some Wii Sports. The TV was playing some quality movies.
One of my resolutions that I made with The Boy, my oldest and most challenging child, was that we were going to treat each other better. I started this by honoring his unusual request to have a backwards meal day. So it was sandwiches for breakfast, leftover hors d'oeuvres for lunch, and french toast and eggs for dinner. And ice cream cones for dessert.
The Boy is strong-willed and obsessive. Persistent and a lover of scripts, he often enjoys following the rules but will frequently eschew his responsibilities around the house in favor of electronic games, unless he is sufficiently motivated. We clash because he will make up a rule or a script to something faster than I can anticipate where it comes from, and he sometimes just wants to be contrary because that's how he rolls. I need to pay better attention to his currency and his desired modes of communication, because he ultimately doesn't want to hurt me any more than I'd ever want to hurt him.
The other aspect of my relationship with The Boy is that I'm clearly his third favorite adult, if I'm lucky. Fortunately, his number one and number two grownups (Daddy and Grandma, respectively), are not so in need of the ego stroking that they would ever fan the flames of favoritism. They cherish their relationships with The Boy and also nurture mine.
As such, I really want to improve my connection with The Boy. There may still be remnants of the hard times from five years ago, where I was only the bad guy in charge of medicine and shots.
Despite a mostly awesome day, the kids have been a bit twitchy and antsy. Bath time.