Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, and things I've learned

We don't traditionally make a huge deal of New Year's in the Hosey/Wilson/affiliated clans. We recognize it. And today I'm going over to spend the day at my mom's for a relaxed excuse to eat ourselves silly visit. And I try to "ring it in," somehow, every year. Ever since I was 8, I'd creep back out of bed (I am decidedly NOT a morning/waking-up person, but can "program" my body to wake up when I choose). I'd pretend I'd been awake the whole time, and tiptoe to the living room, which everyone had vacated but my dad, who would pretend he'd been awake the whole time. I'd stretch the nightgown, the scratchy one that caught on my elbows but that I loved anyway, over my knees and sit beside him and watch the ball drop on the television. And it was plenty.

And I've had memorable New Year's moments since then. There was the New Year's Eve that I learned that Jell-O shooters are not equal to Jell-O Jigglers, the New Year's Day I discovered that neither tequila nor smooth talkers are anyone's friends, the New Year my husband (then my secret boyfriend) and I rang in with a kiss in the movie theater parking lot, when no one knew we were "back together" yet (except, I eventually discovered, my mom, who always knows such things).

Last night, we took my son to see a movie, and cuddled, all of us, in the back of the theater. We went out to eat, put him to bed (after reading the couple of pages I promised ten pages twelve pages a whole chapter of Prisoner of Azkaban.) My husband and I sat on the couch. We fell asleep and woke back up at exactly midnight to ring it in. And it was plenty.

But in the name of taking stock, it occurs to me that there are a few things I learned in 2008. Not much, really. But I did learn:

  • That my son's capacity for wonder, curiosity and tenderness knows no limit.
  • That it is possible for a child to be obsessed with a single body part for an entire year, and that I will get so used to it/fed up with it that I will shout things like "I don't want to be poked in the butt, slapped on the butt, hear about your butt, hear about my own butt, hear about any butts, hear words that mean butt, or hear the poop song EVER AGAIN, and I mean it!" in the middle of Target and not think there is anything odd about the sentence until I notice weird looks from fellow customers.
  • How much I'd missed seeing the stars, really seeing them. And how clear the night sky is from our new house.
  • A whole heck of a lot about mortgage rates, credit scores and loans; as well as how to bitch just enough at the Realtor and loan guy to get things moving, but not so much that they hate me.
  • That my ex-landlord sucks big bovine gonads.
  • That the view from our house totally rocks.
  • How to fold killer paper airplanes, ones that stay in the air for at least 15 seconds.
  • That, until very recently, my husband did not know about my webbed toes or my ADD. (Though, on the latter, he seems to think a lot of things "make more sense" now.)
  • That my marriage still needs some work.
  • That, generally, my marriage is pretty darn awesome.
  • The meaning of the word "apropos." And that I'm the only smart person I know who didn't know the meaning of the word "apropos."
  • How to work a Chinese yo-yo. Sort of.
  • Did I mention I'm happy with the new house and its view?
  • How to pack an apartment's worth of stuff in record time.
  • That most of my family reads this blog, and that's a good thing.
  • A whole lot about crickets, astronomy, child psychology, the education system, Nickelodeon cartoons, paleontology, eyeless albino millipedes, politics and economics (but probably not enough about any of those things).
  • How to take waaay better pictures than I did in 2007.
  • That, generally, my pictures still need a lot of work.
  • To prioritize.
  • That I should never, ever, no exceptions (I mean it this time, self) eat beef products after 8 p.m.
  • That I don't listen to myself. Neither does anyone else. I must learn how to be stricter with us all.
  • How to bake a number of really awesome casserole dishes, cakes, and breads.
  • How to clean up in twenty-one minutes when six out-of-town family members are on their way and I only JUST THEN find out, and we've just moved in and just had Christmas and there's not one clean spot in the house. (Hint: Cupboard space, garage = your friends.)
  • That I'm pretty down with the suburban existence.
  • How to come to terms with my totally receding chin and those line-things on either side of my face.
  • That sometimes, I just screw up with the parenting thing -- but usually, I'm pretty OK.
  • That, as of last night, my son still wants to sit in my lap. And that I still get choked up about it, and that my husband still rolls his eyes about it (but secretly seems pretty happy when I lean over and we all end up in a cheesy, hokey pile of family).
  • How to identify major constellations by season.
  • To document, document, document everything. (Unfortunately, this lesson was learned by experience.)
  • How to use teacher strategies to get my kid to listen to me.
  • That I will not be excommunicated from my family for voting against the familial party (and that I should have known better, anyway).
  • That worrying about things does not count as working toward their resolution.
  • That I'm addicted to the show Lost (and Battlestar Galactica when it finally returns), but other than those shows, if the television disappeared I wouldn't notice.
  • That traffic cops do not care if you're "very sorry."
  • How to take chances on things that may not work, and what to do when they do (and when they don't).
  • That I'm better than I think I am at some of the things I try to do.
  • That I'm not nearly as clever as I think I am.
  • How to let things go, and which things those should be.
  • How to love a year, love the lessons learned, and hold my people so darn close I squish them -- but move the hell on from the crappy stuff, and tackle my life. I've got some plans for 2009.
Have a joyous, safe New Year and a better 2009 than 2008, whether your 2008 sucked or rocked. Happy New Year, everyone.


Leslie F. Miller said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, I hope it helps to know that I think you're extraordinarily clever and that you take awesome photographs and that apropos really does, when you boil down the synonyms, mean appropriate, no matter how many people try to tell you it means as regards the current topic—apropos of something, obviously.

heather said... Best Blogger Tips

I had always felt New Years was the most overrated holiday until I had a New Years baby...who is now 13!!!!!!

Happy New Years to everyone in Arizona, send me your new addresses and other pertinent info. soon!

PS having a son of my own, I was thinking of another body part for the fixation. Although farting seems to be the fixation in this household. I had 3 9 year old boys sleeping here the other night, so I am sick of real or mouth simulated sounds.

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

@Leslie: Apropos of your opinions of me, you tend to see the best in folks, or help foster, or both. So thanks. Of course it helps.

@Heather: Holy crap, 13! You're the mother of a teenager now; can you believe it? Happy birthday to Kristina, and Happy New Year to all of you.

And yeah; mouth-simulated noises are pretty popular in this house too. My strategy is if you can't beat 'em, join 'em -- to a point. The boys (the young one and the old one) thought I would get all mad the other day, so I beat them both with my own mouth noise. Then we all got to laugh, and move on.

Yeah, I'm real mature.

(Oh, and I originally read your comment as "I had 39-year-old boys..." and had to laugh. Because it probably could still apply, as they never do seem to grow out of it.)

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

That should be "or help foster IT..." My brain needs rest.