2012 a fresh new start, I think……

It’s here, it’s here! Yep that’s right 2012 is here! Shout it from the rooftops for all to hear! 2012 is finally here!!

What you already knew that?? I am shocked? I am not the first one to tell you that its 2012?  How embarrassing….  How can this be?  I am confused????? Oh that’s right, the endless party invites you received probably gave it away.  Or the 48 hours of your local news counting down until the very last moment when they switched the broadcast over to Carson Daily and his motley crew of semi famous party goer’s.  Oh wait; maybe it was the endless stream of News Years Eve footage from other countries, being thrown about like a frisbee on the internet for all to see!  Or if you lived completely under a rock maybeeeeee it was the explosions and war zone gun fire that woke you up at 12:01am that did the trick.

Oh well either way I am still excited! 2012 is finally here!  I now have twelve months to help my worry wart 11-year-old understand that just because the Mayan calender ended doesn’t mean the world is going to end on December 21st of this year.  That Mayans in fact believed the end of this recorded cycle meant the planet would go through a “positive physical or spiritual change” .  Now I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure the human race could use both of those things about now! 

2012 also means facing a few facts that I have been avoiding. Or at the very least acting like they would never bother me. 

Our 15-year-old is going to start driving this year.  It wasnt a big deal before but here we are literally days away from him being able to take the permit test.  As the very famous philosopher Charlie Brown once stated after having the football pulled away from him; AAAAARRRRGGGGGGG! I thought I was ready for this time-honored passage into teenage/adulthood but I am not!  I already worry about every part of my kids lives everyday, I drink Mylanta the way most people would consume a chocolate shake! Slowly to avoid brain feeze and with a straw! I do breathing exercises like a fat kid staring at the biggest jelly doughnut he’s ever seen when it comes to making decisions about whether or not my kids should stay the night at someone’s house!  Yet here we are in 2012 and I now feel as though this is the year I finally get my long-awaited ulcer!  Dont get me wrong, out of all my kids he is the one I trust the most to take the driving test challenge and succeed……  Holy crap did I just write that, I am doomed!!!!  I will need a stomach transplant when it comes to the other three!  Maybe I’ll get lucky and they will pass a law that says they can’t drive till they are 18? 

My soon to be 12-year-old is going to start JR. HIGH!  Now that doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people, but for me it a huge deal!  Heres my problem, it’s not the increased class schedule, it’s not that he will be joining kids from the other three elementary schools in the area.  It’s not that he will be introduced to a larger scale of peer pressure and influence. Its none of these things that I am concerned with (ok maybe the influence thing a little).  What I am concerned with the most?  He is cute!  Now I don’t mean your average everyday cute! Nope! I don’t mean your my kid and of course no matter how homely you really are I still think your cute because I have too, cute!  This kid is downright cute, good-looking, handsome! He has big eyes, big dimples and a gigantic heartwarming smile! You know the type of smile I am talking about, the type of smile that warms a heart two sizes too small?  Yeah that’s our boy!  He has a following too!  Where ever we go, the girls are sure to follow.  He has just as many “girlfriends”as he does male counterparts.  I am dreading hormones and testosterone, giggling girls and irate fathers.  Late night phone calls and cell phone monitoring.  The good news is he’s been raised right!  He is a gentleman, he says please and thank you and he has respect for himself and others.  So maybe I am overreacting and I’ll only need to start on a low dose of Zoloft by the end of the year. 

As for the rest of them, no worries at all.  I think??? 

I don’t believe in making useless New Years promises that no one can possibly keep!  But I will promise to continue with my way of being a father.  In 2012 I promise to continue to love my kids, be there when they need me and even when they don’t.  I promise to butt into their lives on a daily basis, correct them when they are wrong and praise them when they are right!  I promise that ice cream and frozen yogurt are something that no matter how broke we are, we will always be able to afford.  I promise to always take their phone calls when I am at work and listen to their problems with an open mind.  I promise to continue to teach them; a sense of humor will get you farther in life than determination alone.  I promise to take a moment out of my day every now and again to hug and dance with my daughter.  But most important of all, after spending endless hours with my children, I promise to take the time to constantly show love and affection towards my wife.  Who our children become as adults is a direct reflection on how we behave as a married couple.  Dont you think??

Happy New Year….

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2011 bye bye

4 hours and 6 minutes until 2012.  That’s all I have left to reflect upon 2011 before the proverbial changing of the guard.  While most everyone else is posting in their blogs about all they have been through over the last year.  I am going to try a different route.  I ‘m going to reflect on my children’s lives over the past year.  Remembering what they experienced, and who they have become over the last 12 months. 

Parker

My little man is 6 in 48 hours he will be 7.  This was a year of learning for my youngest.  He learned to read.  Now to some that might not be a lot, I always hear the stories of “oh my little genius was reading by 2”.  But for Parker this was indeed a milestone.  He is very impatient and to finally overcome his “tummy pains” or “jitters” to sit and read without losing his mind was a gigantic obstacle to overcome.  He also taught himself how to spin plates on a stick.  He was so good at it that he decided on his own to be in the schools talent show.  Another huge milestone for our small performer.  You see Parker also doesn’t like to be laughed at when doing something serious.  So for him to stand upon a stage in front of the entire elementary school and perform without crying each time a plate fell.  (yes he smiled the biggest smile when he finished and everyone applauded) Well it makes me misty just thinking about it.  Parker also learned to ride a horse this year.  No fear, just got on the pony and started riding.  After a week or two declared he was ready for competition and proceeded to ride in an annual series, where he did quite well.  His lisp went away this year as well.  He has started to take notice that people aren’t saying “what” every time he asks a question or tries to tell a story.  He is sweet and kind with a slight hint of the devil every now and again.  I will miss him being little, huggable and snuggly.

Jessica

My little girl is 7 and smart as a whip.  This year she truly dedicated herself to her schoolwork.  She went from being very slow to focus on the tasks at hand to someone I trust to handle any task given her at anytime.  She is stubborn and resourceful, caring and brutish, but this year she learned so much about who she is as a person.  She has developed in a small flower that is just waiting for the perfect time to blossom.  She overcame many of her dreaded fears as well this year.  The fear of the dark; whipped! Although she still wants a night lite every now and again, she can sleep with the door closed and the lights off.  The fear of horses:  She would go down to the barn with us and just sit and watch.  If you tried to get her on a horse, stand back!  The screaming would start!  But thanks to the help of some wonderful friends, she not only rides, but she lopes a great little horse named JR. around the arena with the biggest of smiles on her face.  She is driven and competitive, if you are her friend she would slay the biggest serpant for you.  If you are her enemy look out!  We cant wait to see what she wants to accomplish next year!

Jake

Ahhhh my 11-year-old who is going on 17!  He is bossy, he is a know it all, he is the absolute best at everything he does (just ask him).  He is also the kindest, gentlest human being I have had the pleasure to know.  He has a smile that would melt even the coldest of hearts! If there is an animal in trouble with in a 10 mile radius, he knows.  He cries at even the smallest of creatures being hurt or in trouble.  When our little dog went missing this year, he called me at work and he was blubbering so hard I couldn’t make out what he was saying.  His year has been tumultuous to say the least.  He has been in the wrong place at the wrong time at school more times than I can count (parent e-mails from the principal).  He even went to the office for fighting, in which he was released because he had done the right thing by trying to get away from the kid until he had nowhere to hide.  He lost his best friend (to the Air Force) , who moved away which was quite a blow.  The year before he lost another friend (Air Force once again)to the dreaded “move”.  He learned to ride a horse this past year. He went out and purchased his own horse with money he had saved over the years from birthdays and Christmas.  Along with odd jobs he had worked and his 4-H project.  He rides in competitions and wishes to one day ride cutting horses.  He was in a school play and went from learning piano, to being handed a clarinet which he plays quite well!  He has grown what seems like a foot this year and is no longer small. (he’s built like a linebacker)!  I am proud of who he is becoming as a young man and after seeing the changes in him this year, wish he could slow down just a little bit.   

Cody

The oldest of the brood at a staggering 15 1/2.  This year was unbelievable for our young adult.  He was in marching band and went to several competitions around the state.  He also ran for the cross-country team and was one of 8 boys that made to State!  He lettered, received his ALL-League and his State Championship patches.  All while carrying a full 7 period workload.  This year he went hunting and killed his first pheasant!  He also go his first turkey.  He is in taxidermy at school and is really enjoying the class.  He says it is a lost art, I think he may be right.  Cody also took a big step this year by actually getting back onto a horse.  He was thrown from a horse 4 years ago and even though he got right back on and rode a while longer.  Afterwards he washed his hands of all horses.  Over the last year his voice finished changing, now when I call home I want to know who the strange man is answering the phone!  He also lost a friend (Air Force) but not just any friend.  They had been friends since 5th grade.  Eventually becoming boyfriend/girlfriend by 7th grade.  They stayed friends and became an item again last year.  It was a tough blow for him, he is dealing with it well I am sure in most part to technology.  He has his I-phone with him all the time.  Cody has read more books this year than anyone I know, he will definitely grow up to be the most well read person in our family.  Cody found his funny side this year, his wit is dry and quick! So much so that sometimes you are walking away from him before you realize that he just got ya!  He is growing tall and strong and handsome.  I am very proud to call him my son and I look forward to the day that I shake his hand and give him a hug man to man.. 

So there it is, I just spent a little time remembering some things that happened to my children over this last year.  No poo pooing about opportunity lost, or how much money we don’t have (we have horses, so you know we are poor).  No credit debt, no political rants, no occupy bullshit!  Nope just a moment in time to reflect upon what matters most to me.  My kids, who they are, and who they are becoming.  It’s a privilege to be a parent and I think at times we take that privilege for granted. 

So welcome 2012!  Welcome to our lives with open arms!  May you bless us with countless stories that we may recollect!  May you bring us challenges that we may meet! But most of all, may you bring my kids one step closer to moving out!!  (you didn’t think I was going to do this whole thing without one obnoxious quip did you?)