I have rarely thought much about plans and resolutions on January 1, probably because I spent thirty years teaching school. For me, the year always began in September and ended in May. Most of January, on the other hand, was that brief mid-year respite after the madness of giving finals, figuring grades, and wrapping up another set of classes.
This was always harder in December than in May because, at that time of year, the demands of school coincided with the craziness of the holiday season. When Cookie and Teebo were still at home, this meant juggling school responsibilities with school programs, church programs, parties, and the usual flurry of Christmas activities. Add the duties of shopping, wrapping, card-sending, baking, decorating and the like, and I had more balls in the air than I could keep going.
Although the Christmas season is still a little more hectic than I would prefer, retirement has definitely improved the situation. Adding Sooby, Pooh, and Bootsie to the family mix has brought a new kind of joy to my world. It is because of them that I am thinking, on this New Year's Day, what 2012 might have in store for us and what resolutions I might make as we toss the old calendars in the trash and start afresh.
First, there are some things the kids and I didn't get done in 2011 that are a must for the coming year. We need to actually get down and dirty and dye some Easter eggs. We need to get icky and sticky and carve a jack-o-lantern (and toast the seeds). We need to make pretzel candy sticks with the kit I got at Wal-Mart after Halloween for $1. We have a ceramic picture frame to decorate for Cookie for Mother's Day, but don't tell her.
Next, we need to repeat all the things we had so much fun with during the year just past. The birthday parties, the valentine boxes, the State Fair, the pool, water balloons, Scarecrow Man, and the wiener roast--all these need a spot on our new calendar. We'll keep singing at bedtime, reading books, watching movies, and play-acting. Sometime this year, Bootsie should be old enough to join in the frivolity.
In 2012 Bootsie will be two, Pooh will turn three, and Sooby's fifth birthday will earn her a spot in kindergarten. In March, they expect to welcome a new little boy cousin. In July, although they may not know it yet, they should welcome a sibling. This time next year, Lord willing, I will be making my resolutions based on a grandkid pool of five. That's why I need to make a good practice run at the process this year.
Meanwhile, I should probably invest in a few more sippy cups and bibs, and stock up on diapers. I may need a second high chair and another car seat. Come to think of it, maybe I should buy some stock in companies like Gerber and Graco.
2012 promises to be packed with excitement for this Googie. That's why, on this first day of the year, I resolve to enjoy every minute.