We are dragging ourselves across the finish line of this godforsaken year by our fingernails. Instead of eagerly anticipating the dawn of a new, fresh start, I'm looking towards Sunday as the beginning of a four-year-long sentence in a torture chamber where the punishment is, at its best, the egregious lack of common sense and decency by the People In Charge. At its worst....well...I guess simply the end of the world as we know it.
Even if that sounds melodramatic, this truth is irrefutable: The negative impact of this incoming presidency threatens to last far longer than the president elect's time in office. We are going to need to pace ourselves and take care of ourselves (and each other) in order to withstand the approaching storm. We can do that by finding the positivity where it is to be found. Though the next four years will be rough, not every day of each year will be. Despite who the leader of the free world is and what he does with the power of his position, there will still be moments of peace and joy and growth and human connection and scientific advancement and love and kindness.
There will be because there has to be. We will make it be so.
I've circled my emotional wagons. I've deleted Facebook from my phone (though I still manage to check in daily because, damn, I can't quit you, baby) and have stopped reading every article that follows a sensational, blood-pressure-raising headline. While punctuating my days with calls to my representatives and donations made to the organizations that are going to end up being the ones to save us from this new reality, I'm focusing my mind and my heart more locally...hyper-locally, in fact. It's self-preservation through self-centeredness.
Right now, all that really matters to me is my family.
We started 2016 with a resolution of strengthening our family bonds through Kid Dates...one-on-one time with just one parent and one kid, engaging in anything from breakfast out to archery practice to a visit to the library. Once, Evan and I spent our date in the basement, facing off in a Nerf Battle the likes of which I never thought I'd participate in. It was awesome. The last few months of the year became hectic, though, as they often do. Much of our time was spent together as a family, but we didn't prioritize our one-on-one dates. It's something I want to get back to in the new year.
Selfishly, I want that time with each of my kids to distract me from the rest of the world. Less selfishly, I want that time to be a chance for each kid to feel like he or she is the center of my attention...what truly matters. Regardless of what these next four years turn this world into, my children will feel Special. Loved. Worthy. Capable.
We don't need one-on-one time with our kids to teach them these things...but it's how I am choosing to send the message loudly and clearly: You Matter. Just You. All of You.
Molly and I fell into our date by chance this week. The boys wanted to go see Rogue One, which I knew wouldn't be right for Molly. Rather than try to find a movie showing at the same time that was more her speed, we decided to do our own thing.
She picked Ice Skating.
|SK8R GRRL. Little badass on blades.|
It was her third time to the rink and her first time standing (and walking) on her skates unassisted! She still held onto my hands for dear life once out on the ice, but she's starting to gain her confidence on the ice and I wouldn't be surprised if she ventures out on her own (though still on the wall) next time.
After about six laps around the rink (with breaks after each complete lap to watch the semi-pros twirling and jumping in center ice) she was ready to go.
Rather than heading straight home, we popped into some of the shops downtown that the boys never want to browse through. We looked at fancy jewelry, played with toys out on display, paged through holiday books on the clearance rack, and tried on hats.
We even found a wooden rhinoceros that we almost brought home with us. It was gorgeously carved out of a single piece of wood and Molly fell in love immediately. We were short on cash by about three grand, but otherwise, it would have been ours.
Finally, we stopped by Uncle Mike's juice bar where Mom Mom was working and where we snagged one of the last Peppermint Bark nut milks of the season.
When we got home, we took a nap on the couch. It was such a perfect day.
I'm glad I spent it with You....