It may be a bit backwards to post the year in review after the 16 things I’m looking forward to this year, but I am a Gemini who is rebellious against convention, has an unquenchable thirst for shock-factor, and an unfortunate lack of control over what comes out of my mouth.
Looking back on last year, it had all the appearances of a calamitous beginning but thankfully it was only a temporary spell with no long-term damage. We had a shit-ton of snow early in the year, which led to more snow days than any sane mother should have to withstand, and then there was a relatively short episode of the flu. Todd had it through New Years’, and the kids had very mild symptoms about a month or so into 2015. I brought up the rear as the last one to spend 4 days in bed.
A began her last year of elementary school and O, his first of high school. It’s surreal how fast time goes by – and I know I mention that every year. She had one crush before the 4th grade ended – a “very nice” boy who she said wasn’t the best looking kid in class but he was the nicest and he made her laugh. Whether the sentiment was returned, we’ll never know, but it was heartwarming to realize that she is absorbing what I’ve taught her. Meanwhile, O refuses to discuss girls. At all.
Both kids dove into extracurriculars last year. O played community basketball at the Y last winter, and in May – after he informed me that he really wanted to try out for football and we discussed a neurotic mother’s concerns – he began weight-training three days a week until practice began in August. A returned to cheer after 3 years. So, what promised to be alternately a relaxing and petulant summer became an endless carpool from one practice to another, some occasionally overlapping and creating a new layer of stress for the divergent mom.
Todd and I got away on some day trips over the summer – to Ocean City on the 4th of July, which was a great deal of fun but perhaps not the best day to attempt to get into town – and to Cape May for a walk on the beach, a hike up 104 steps inside the lighthouse which ignited a vertigo I hope to avoid the rest of my life, some window shopping, some great pints and pub food, and a race to the sunset by the water. Lovely.
Our tenants in the apartment moved out! They left a gargantuan mess to be gutted and the unmistakable stench of urine, but the project got finished and the apartment is beautiful now, to be utilized as our “guest house,” rather than a tenant-occupied space. One could say we are slowly learning a hard-won lesson about “giving” of ourselves to others.
I had written about the addition of Neph to our quarters… what first appeared to be an easy transition had its share of rough patches. One might argue that the immediate family dynamic is delicate – it is young, considering that the four of us have only lived together for 4 years – but it is well-established in routine and expectations. To add a new dynamic – with a dynamic not so subtly different – requires patience and work to keep the cogs and wheels turning smoothly. For reasons I am protective of, as well as those involved, suffice it to say that there just isn’t enough oil and a cog or two is rusty.
Meanwhile, between weight-lifting and cheer camp, the kids and I – along with Nephtoo – went to Cape May with my mom for 4 days. While I swore halfway through the second day of Veruca’s* sour attitude that I would not do this trip again (even if Mom paid me) – I will say that it was lovely to have the boys together, especially Nephtoo, because he softened my mood tremendously.
We threw our first party at the house since July 2011 – when I was just “girlfriend” and we had just gotten back together – invited everybody and it was a blast. The house itself has seen a lot of changes since that first party and while we still have a ways to go on the lower level, I know Todd was proud of the improvements. I loved having my aunts there! I so miss the family I grew up with, as our time together is fewer and farther between, so it meant the world to me that they were there.
Todd was promoted to full professor last year – a well-earned distinction –and continued his multi-committee obligations while simultaneously working on a grant and developing his own product. Meanwhile, I continued my very important work as hospitality and beverage ambassador at the restaurant, in addition to resident baker, and domestic engineer and writer of all things.
Last year I made a decision to step up and into a more involved role in Diabetes world. And, either through this decision or by sharing the same blackballed status, I made several new friends around the country who share my enthusiasm for awareness and education and believe in uniting for our common cause (rather than fighting against each other for what-makes-absolutely-no-sense reasons).
While Diabetes Awareness Month promised to deliver some powerful messages, the unfortunate – not to mention counterproductive – support group debacle really stole some of the thunder from our efforts. However, we were not discouraged enough to quit. I wrote to my governor and acquired a proclamation for November to be Diabetes Awareness Month. I attempted, and failed, to get the attention of my local government for this cause – but, again, I’m not discouraged. I joined my state’s efforts to improve diabetes management in schools, and will continue to participate in this amazing committee – the outcome set to launch this summer. (I will be writing more about this in another post.)
The year ended relatively quietly – even if it was at the restaurant. We didn’t have over 100 like last year, most of the guests were newcomers (!) and the music was great but not wall-busting like last year. And for all of that, I’m grateful. And the best part? Kissing my first love at the first minute of 2016.