Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections On The Year

The clock has turned, the year has changed, and suddenly it's 2011.

I could do a year-in-review type of post but, really, it's all right here on the blog.  It seems silly to rehash it all when you could read about it in depth if you cared to.

But, in looking back through the last year's worth of posts, I realized how much has changed and how much we packed into the year.  It's a given that kids grow up and, in doing so, change every day.  But it's hard to see that change if you never look back and see where you used to be.

The year didn't have an easy start.  Liam was at the tail end of four and the holidays were very difficult with that attitude in tow.  I looked at my posts from the holidays last year and it became clear to me how much better Liam did this year.  He was excited, yes.  But he wasn't so cranky and difficult and sass-filled all the time.  He weathered all the stress and chaos surrounding this time of year with remarkable aplomb for a 5 year old.  In some ways I already knew that, but re-reading those posts really brought it home to me.

It's possible that some of this year's most profound changes were responsible for his ability to weather things much more easily.  We enforced a menu for the way he eats and that engendered a titanic shift in his day to day attitude and interactions with us.  He graduated from preschool and that also helped because he was monumentally bored by the time he was done.  He started Tae Kwon-Do which gave him an outlet for all his energy and a place to practice focus and discipline.  Between TKD and the menu system, he has experienced a major growth spurt.  He has grown by 3 inches and 6 pounds in the last year - a gain the likes of which he hasn't seen since his first year of life.  He started kindergarten and that has occupied his mind in a way no other thing has been able to (with the possible exception of Star Wars!).  He has made huge strides over the year and that really ended up paying dividends when it came to the holidays.

Jamie did what babies do.  He said his first word, took his first steps, learned to communicate with us, and began to assert his independence.  All of these things were expected and welcome changes.  The thing I keep coming back to is how much easier it is for me to weather his developmental changes than it was for me to get through them with Liam.  Jamie surely throws us curve balls - he is, after all, not his brother - but the second time around I feel so much better prepared for whatever it is that comes our way.  That's not to say that I'm placid - this is a descriptor that will likely never be used in conjunction with my name - but I feel less afraid that these stages will never end.  It also helps that Jamie is a lot easier on the sleep front than his brother ever was.  His ability to deal with minor schedule inconveniences is truly a welcome change from his brother.

Scot and I weathered a tough year.  It wasn't all wine and roses.  But, really, life never is.  Things seem to be getting better on a lot of previously difficult issues - mostly health related - and I look forward to 2011 being an improvement over 2010 in that regard.

If I have one resolution for the coming year (aside from saying adios to my flab - *sigh*) it is to have more perfect days.  They don't all have to be summer picnics but that day is a shining beacon of perfection and something I'd like to repeat on a much more regular basis.  It will take work on our part - if only by not being so lazy about taking the kids out and doing things - but its worth is beyond price.

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