On highlights and resolutions

As I write this, it is 12:30 am on the last day of 2012. I had been planning on posting an entry on my highlights of 2012, so I sat down to make notes and scratch them out. Either my memory is starting to fail me, or I have not been drinking in the blessings of my life as I should be, because the list was so short that I would be ashamed to try to make a blog post out of it. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.

And what a shame that is, because although our lives are challenging, my children and I have been blessed in many different ways. So why is it that I could only come up with a pitifully short list of highlights that revolved mostly around Jaime, and nothing about Ben? It’s heart-wrenching to know that I have let an entire year pass by without savoring both the big and little gifts we have been given. And how many years past have I allowed this to happen?

So, despite everything I have ever said against making New Year’s resolutions, and despite every failed resolution I have ever made, I am going to make one right now. Here it is:

I will not let 2013 go by without relishing the day-to-day gifts in our lives, along with the major ones. If it is too much for me to remember an entire 365 days worth of blessings, then I will write them down, record them some way.

I will photograph whatever I can. I will celebrate in blog posts and facebook status updates. I will write things down on little slips of paper and hoard them in a safe place until the year’s end when we will reflect on them. I will make Ben an equal part of this decree, so he will learn the bigger lesson here. And that is to be thankful. Thankful for each and every little thing we have been given or have earned. To congratulate ourselves and each other for a job well-done. To focus on what is good and healthy and positive – both baby steps and giant leaps. To dwell as little as possible on the negative and file it away just far enough so that we won’t be haunted by it and not so far that we won’t learn and grow from it.

I will start tomorrow, January 1, 2013, with a simple entry on the index card I have already clipped to the 2013 calendar. It will read, “Benjamin started the new year in Maine on his first trip back to his birthplace since we returned to New Jersey.” And thus my 2013 New Year’s resolution will have begun.

I thought I had learned not to take anything for granted when Jaime came into my life. I swore that I would bask in every small accomplishment, things that others don’t see. Although I can’t say I have totally failed, I see now that I have not been as dogged in my determination to remember as I once thought I was. But this is all going to change.

I think Ben said it best during a conversation about how we don’t have as much as some people, when he simply said to me, “But we have each other.” Yes, Ben, we have each other, and that right there is the biggest and truest and best highlight I could have had this year and in all the years to come.

M infrared

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6 thoughts on “On highlights and resolutions

  1. Thanks for this, Mags. And well done. I’m adding a ‘gratitude list’ to my own list for 2013. I feel much the same way and I’m grateful for your reminder. A happy new year to you and your boys!

  2. I love this post. This was touching, and a great “resolution’ to live life more fully. Thanks so much for sharing this with the writing prompt, it was a beautiful read!

  3. Thank you for sharing this post. I also need to add a gratitude list to my resolutions for this year. Sadly, I think because we are so focused on the nitty gritty of special needs care that we miss some of the good stuff in life. I know that to write my post this week I had to go through my 2012 photos just to remember what we did and when rather than just trusting my own memory. I know there is plenty of stuff I missed since I didn’t take a picture of it.

    I loved Ben’s comment. He is wise beyond his years 🙂

  4. Thank you for this post. It was something I needed to hear. I’m the father of an 11-year old son with CP. I’ve spent so much time over the past couple years writing a book that deals what my son and I went through back in 2005/6, every micro-detail, that I’d be hard pressed to tell you 10 things that happened in 2012. That will never happen again. We are in the process of starting a co-blog, a way for each of us to share and document our hopes and dreams, our trials and tribulations. There seems to be any number of blogs written by the mothers of special needs kids… but not so much the fathers. Anyway… as I mention to any parent in our situation, if you don’t know about Cerebral Palsy Family Network, then please check it out. They have a wonderful “survival guide” database that has become the first place I check when needing… a camp, an athletic league, a movement coach, swimming lessons, you name it (where very outdoorsy here in Texas!). Anyway. I’ll hit send and then read a few more of your posts. Keep blogging!

    1. Thank you,Nick. I spend a lot of time getting info from CP Family Network. They are invaluable! And you’re right, there are NOT a lot of blogs by dads. One that I follow is whynotfathers.com. If you’ve never read that one, it’s worth checking out. Several fathers collaborated on this page and they have a lot of great information.
      Thanks for stopping by…come back any time!!
      Maggie

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