I read in awe of other’s families New Year’s day processes. I see the pictures of beautiful new journals with “dream” and “2016” written on them. And I remember my own mother’s new Years Day tradition of not only buying gifts and wrapping them but of creating ,6, 7 or 8 clues per gift for us to hunt for them (in fairness we didn’t celebrate Christmas growing up, just New Years.) I imagine that all around us, other families are reading through gratitude journals, crafting plans for their year ahead.
Meanwhile I am here. My little family of six does not currently appreciate the process of reflecting on the year past or dreaming of the year future. BUT. BUT. BUT. They are very brilliantly smack dab in the present. Something most of us struggle to be.
And because I am slowly, oh-so-slowly learning. I let them be. We didn’t reflect or resolve. We didn’t discuss. I didn’t cook the dutch donuts of my childhood that I ALWAYS cook on New Year’s Day. We didn’t even get to our own annual treasure hunt for calendars that is my nod to my childhood traditions.
Instead we embraced a post-New-Years-Eve sleepover morning and we ate grocery store donuts. We sent some of the boys out air softing. We played for long hours in the chill winter sun. We cleaned the garage. We made tacos.
Because I just couldn’t help myself, over dinner I shared with my kiddos the places where I felt called to begin giving regular monthly gifts this year: Preemptive Love which helps educate and settle refugees as well as providing surgeries for kids in Iraq, Holt International’s orphanages in North Korea and southern China, and a long-lost cousin’s church in Philly, which is diverse and inclusive and whose focus is social justice issues.
And that’s enough. That and the word “stability” which I have chosen, very tentatively, as a direction for our family this year. Settling in, embracing what family looks like in our new reality, helping each child move farther into their dreams, their callings. Letting life be.
This is one of the biggest challenges ever for me, the restless dreamer. But I have a few gray hairs at my temples now and somehow, this year at 35, death mocks at me and tells me scary stories. So I’m a little older now, a little wiser, a little more at peace. Strong enough to stand still even if the winds call to me.
Strong enough to be a little stable for the sake of our four sweet souls.
So here we stand 2016. Bring on your winds, your storms, your endless calm, or your mirages. We six will be stable come what may. Whether we stay or go. Whether it’s fun and easy or hard with lots of tears.
This is the year of stability and presence.
And I’m leaning in.