Happy New Year…from my house to yours..

Another year has come and gone, another memorable chapter in our lives closed.

It hadn’t been one of our better years. As individuals, and as a family, I think each of us learned new things about ourselves, strengths we didn’t realize we had and weaknesses we would’ve preferred keep to ourselves . My husband and I found ourselves doing a lot of much needed self reflection. We rediscovered what it takes to keep a family whole and how being happy with ourselves and each other plays a key role in that.

Between the hectic schedule of a family of six and despite our tumultuous summer, we’re all still laughing and driving each other nuts, in a good way..at least most of the time.

My oldest is still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up, which I steadily keep reminding him is now. Some days I’d like nothing more than to hypnotize him into believing my way is the right way, but then I remind myself that 1) that’s probably illegal, 2) he’s old enough to choose his own path in life, and 3) although I hate to admit it, sometimes my support is needed more than my direction. So instead we’re just trying to keep faith in the common sense and lessons we’ve armed him with throughout our last 19 years of parenting.

When my 15 year old son isn’t playing lacrosse or Xbox he’s hanging out with his seemingly plethora of friends. However, recently I’ve implemented the new Rodney Rule obligating him to spend as much time with his family as he does anyone else. I’ve already had to clarify it requires he leave his room and actually interact with the family downstairs and, no, it is not considered quality time when his father and I are shuttling him to and from the mall. Initially, he wasn’t too keen on the rule, but he’s warming up to it.

The older of the two 10 year olds is growing up and into tween-hood a lot faster than her sister. Her life seems to revolve around cheer, shopping at Claire’s, and (the dreaded) Justin Bieber. She’s becoming quite the beauty with a self confidence to match. For Christmas we gave her a smart phone and within hours I had to warn her if she continued to take pictures of herself I would replace the thing with an archaic phone, unattractive and less the camera feature. Needless to say her cell phone photo shoots have ceased.

The youngest, in true baby-of-the-family form, has less interest in all things tween and would much rather play with our dogs or read books under the dining table while I study above her. She’s a darling and sometimes her innocence, in contrast to her siblings’ more brazen manners, worries me. She’s entered her seventh year of swim and recently started swimming in the more competitive meets held at local universities. Earlier in the school year she mentioned her fear of moving onto middle school the following year. When I asked her why she replied in all seriousness, “The lockers, Mommy. What if I forget where my locker is? What then?”

The year was possibly most trying for my husband, but he’s proving to be stronger for it. Upon concluding a commute between states was no longer worth the stress, our concessions business discontinued participating in special events in California. After ten years it’s hard not to feel the sadness that comes with ending such a significant era in our lives, but we both understand that better times are ahead for the business. Less time commuting means more time spent concentrating on the business in Texas and we’re going to need that time given my husband’s plans to open a food trailer in Austin.

As for me, I’m still on the grind, studying and working, and writing in between. I’m hoping to finally graduate this spring and I’ve still got my sights on law school to follow. I am ever so grateful for the readers who continue to follow my blog. The readership and support means so much to me. You know, it’s hardly ever easy – marriage, raising kids, keeping a business moving, and all the other mechanics that make life fun, but drive you mad. Still, it’s a wonderful life and one that I wouldn’t trade a thing for, not even if someone promised me the return of my sanity.

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  1. January 14, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    I’m always amazed you can balance so much and still keep achieving things and making progress. You are a remarkable person, Maria, and your family is unusually resourceful and adaptive. Strong spirits all round.

    • January 14, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Invisible Mikey! My friend, fellow writer, and one of my top five bloggers. Always appreciate when you stop by. Your kind and encouraging words never fail to make me smile ear to ear. Thank you.

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